SURPRISE, Ariz. - With one mighty swing of the bat, Patrick Wisdom put the Saint Mary's baseball team out front for good, 5-4. The solo home run capped three-straight run scoring innings by the Gaels as they rallied from two down to defeat Oregon State Thursday afternoon in the first game of the Coca-Cola College Baseball Classic.
After leading 2-0 through three innings, Oregon State (5-4) took the lead with a four run inning. The inning began when starter Martin Agosta hit the leadoff hitter Ryan Barres. He moved to third on a base hit by Michael Conforto, Agosta loaded the bases with no outs after issuing a walk to Danny Hayes. A double down the left field line from Kavin Keyes tied the game briefly at two. Oregon State struck for two more on a sacrifice fly and a base hit up the middle to make it 4-2.
Saint Mary's (6-3) began chipping away at the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Ricky Boas doubled with one out and eventually came around to score on a passed ball. In the top of the sixth the Gaels added another run when Collin Ferguson crushed a double to deep center field and came around to score on a base hit from Donald Collins with two away.
With the game tied in the seventh inning Oregon State's reliever Cole Brocker (0-1) could not keep the Gaels from retaking the lead. With one out, Wisdom worked the count full and smashed a pitch over the left field fence. The home run is the first of the season and the 21st of his career. The 21 career long balls ties Curt Cannedy (1977-78) for seventh all-time at SMC.
Patrick Keane (1-0) took the ball for the Gaels in the top of the seventh and pitched two brilliant innings to get his first win of the season. In two innings of work he allowed just one hit with no walks while striking out three.
Kyle Barraclough earned the rare save coming in to pitch the top of the ninth. Things did not start out smoothly for Barraclough as he gave up a single and a walk to put two on with no outs. After a sacrifice bunt by the Beavers, Barraclough settled down to record a strike out and a deep fly ball to right field to end the game.
Saint Mary's got on the board first in the bottom of the second Troy Channing led off with a single to left field for the first hit of the day. He moved over to third on a pair of ground outs by Brenden Kalfus and Collin Ferguson. Chris Murphy put the Gaels on the board with a two out single down the left field line that scored Channing from third. After stealing second, Murphy came around to score on the two-out double to right field from Toby DeMello.
Agosta looked sharp early for the Gaels. He faced just one over the minimum through the first three innings, getting first pitch strikes to all but one batter. In the fourth things unraveled for the Gaels' ace. After the fourth Agosta settled down and pitched two more strong innings. For the day he went six complete, allowing five hits, four runs, all earned, with one walk and six strike outs.
Boas continues to hit well at the top of the order for SMC; he went 2-for-4 today with his fifth double of the year. With the win SMC improves to 6-1 on the year when they outhit their opponents. Today the Gaels finished with five runs on eight hits, while Oregon State managed just four runs on seven hits.
Saint Mary's returns to action tomorrow, March 2, when the Gaels take on Saint Louis at 3:00 p.m. PST. SMC will send out sophomore lefty Jordan Mills on the mound, Saint Louis is scheduled to counter with right hand pitcher Alex Alemann.