By: Alex Crook, SMCGaels.com Correspondent
MORAGA, Calif. — Ken Waldichuk made his first start as a Gael Saturday, but the Saint Mary’s baseball team dropped the finale of a three-game series with Loyola Marymount 7-0 at Louis Guisto Field.
Waldichuk got shaken up early, as Jake Valdez entered after just over an inning to throw 3 2/3 frames of relief with three strikeouts while escaping a bases-loaded jam in the second inning. Ty Madrigal, who followed Valdez, asserted himself immediately with two of his four strikeouts in the sixth inning.
“I was pumped for Ken,” Madrigal said of his fellow pitcher. “He’s been having good outings all year so I felt like he deserved (to start) and he was ready for it.”
For his personal contribution, Madrigal did his best to stay positive.
“I just tried to get the defense back in the dugout as soon as I could,” he said. “We had a chance to win so that’s all I was thinking about.”
The Gaels weren’t able to find their stride in the afternoon as LMU’s pitching had its way with the Saint Mary’s lineup.
“Giving up runs early sets the tone for a guy like (Cory Abbott)” head coach Eric Valenzuela said, “along with not being in many pressure situation because they have a good little lead early.”
As good as LMU was from the mound though, the Lions couldn’t solve Edward Haus, who went 2 for 3 in the finale with two singles to center field.
“He wasn’t throwing his curveball for strikes against me,” Haus said, “so I just made the adjustment that if he does throw a curveball early on in the count for a strike, I’m going to take it. Thankfully he threw them all for balls and I was able to attack his fastball.”
Kevin Milam went 1 for 3 with a seventh-inning single while entering in the ninth as the Gaels’ third reliever on the day.
Saint Mary’s returns to action Tuesday for a 3 p.m. first pitch against San Jose State at Louis Guisto before resuming conference play to host Pacific in a three-game series that weekend. Tickets can be purchased on SMCGaels.com and fans can tune into the action on SMCGaels.com.
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