MORAGA, Calif. - When all the pregame ceremonies were finished, the Saint Mary's (1-0) men's baseball team got down to the business at hand, opening the new Louis Guisto Field a winner. With staff ace Martin Agosta on the mound twirling a gem, which is exactly what the Gael faithful were treated to, as SMC defeated Southern Utah 2-1 on the 2012 season opener.
The afternoon began when select baseball alums and donors walked onto the field behind third base, they were introduced while a few words were said by Russ Harrison a member of the Board of Trustees. Following that and the field was blessed by Father Sal Ragusa, and Tom Candiotti ('79) threw out the ceremonial first pitch with Br. Bernard LoCocco and Dr. Neil Norton.
Following that, Agosta took the ball and was dominate. After a shaky first inning he settled down, holding the Thunderbirds to four hits, no earned runs, three walks and eight strikeouts over seven complete innings.
Southern Utah (0-1) scored the first run at the new Louis Guisto Field when Tariq Staton led off the game with a single to right field, he moved over to second on an error by Brenden Kalfus, and moved to third on a single through the left side of the field by Marcus Romero. Staton came around to score Southern Utah's only run on a double-steal to go up 1-0.
In the bottom of the first junior third baseman Patrick Wisdom tallied SMC's first hit at the new field, crushing the first pitch he saw from Southern Utah starter Kelsey Outram (0-1). The ball hit the base of the fence in deep right center and sprinted around the bags for a triple.
Outram, making his first appearance in over a year, pitched very well for the Thunderbirds. He went eight complete, eight hits, two earned runs, with a walk and three strike outs.
In the bottom of the second inning the Gaels scored their first run when Troy Channing singled to lead off the second, he came around to score on a base hit by Toby DeMello. After trading zeros for five innings, the Gaels scored a run in the bottom of the eighth when Ricky Boas and Cole Norton tallied back-to-back doubles, the blast down by the right field line by Norton scoring Boas.
Jordan Mills (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory going two complete innings in relief. In his first outing of the season Mills was sharp, getting a first pitch strike to five of the eight batters he faced. In two innings of work he allowed two hits while striking out two.
Helping the Gaels in their dominating pitching performance was a steady stream of highlight reel catches by outfielders Norton and Donald Collins. Both outfielders showed their range tracking down deep blasts hit in the gaps of the warming track.
The Gaels and Thunderbirds will play game two of this three game series tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Senior starting pitcher Kyle Barraclough is scheduled to take the ball for Saint Mary's, while Southern Utah will counter with LHP Taylor Larson.