SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team took the series opener against San Diego State, 6-3, on Friday night on the strength of Martin Agosta's right arm and clutch hitting. The Gaels (9-5) improve to 9-1 when out hitting their opponent as they recorded nine hits while holding the Aztecs to seven hits.
Agosta (2-0) had one of his strongest outings of the season, going seven complete, scattering six hits, surrendering two runs, one earned, with two walks and four strike outs. In the bottom of the first inning, San Diego State led off the game with a double by Greg Allen, he scored on a sacrifice fly by Smith. After that Agosta retired eight in a row.
SDSU's starter Michael Cederoth did his part, keeping the Gaels offense quiet for five plus innings. In the top off the sixth Saint Mary's busted through in a big way. Ricky Boas led off the inning with an infield single, he moved to second on a wild pitch. Donald Collins moved him to third on an infield single. Troy Channing loaded the bases when he received a free pass. Collin Ferguson ended Cederoth's day when he knocked a two run single to left field that scored Boas and Collins.
Cederoth's line for the evening was five innings pitched, allowing four hits, two runs, both earned, with three walks and six strike outs. Cederoth started the game retiring nine batters in a row before Boas led off the top of the fourth with a walk.
San Diego State tied the game up in the bottom of the sixth. After getting two quick outs, Agosta surrendered a single up the middle to Cody Smith. After a failed pick-off attempt, Smith moved to third on an error by Agosta. Jake Romanski briefly tied the game up a single to short scoring Smith from third.
In the top of the eighth Saint Mary's took the lead for good when Ferguson led off the rally with a single to left field. Patrick Wisdom walked to put two runners on. After Brenden Kalfus flied out center field Chris Murphy came in the clutch and tripled to right center scoring Ferguson and Wisdom. Murphy came around to score on an error by Aztecs left fielder Tim Zier.
In the top of the sixth, the Aztecs turned the ball over to relief pitcher Ethan Miller (0-1) who got SDSU out of the jam in the sixth inning, however he would go on to allow the winning rally in the eight. Miller went 3.1 innings pitched, surrendering five hits, four runs, three earned with two walks and four strike outs.
Patrick Keane earned his first save of the year for SMC. He came into the game in the bottom of the eight after Agosta allowed a lead-off single. Keane got the shut down inning for the Gaels and pitched around an unearned run in the ninth to close out for Saint Mary's. For the evening, Keane went 2.0 complete, scattering one hit, one run with a walk and two strike outs.
Offensively, SMC did a great job in the later innings hitting with runners on, Saint Mary's went 6-for-17 (.353) with runners on base, they hit even better with runners in scoring position going 5-for-14 (.357). Boas led the charge for SMC, he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and his sixth stolen base, and it was his sixth multi-hit game of the year which leads the team. Channing tallied his fifth multi-hit game going 2-for-4 with his team leading 11th RBI. Murphy went 1-for-3 with a triple and two RBI. Murphy now has nine RBI on the year; he had eight all of last season. Ferguson stays red hot, going 2-for-5 with a run scored and two driven in. Ferguson is now hitting a team-leading .429 in 11 games played this season.
Saint Mary's returns to action tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at Tony Gwynn Stadium for game two of the series. Kyle Barraclough will take the ball for SMC, while the Aztecs will counter with Travis Pitcher.