STANFORD, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team drew first blood, but could not keep the second ranked Cardinal in check, as Stanford (16-3) defeated Saint Mary's (14-9) by a final score of 10-4 Wednesday evening at the Sunken Diamond.
The Gaels scored first in the top of the first inning. The Cardinal's starter Dean McArdle retired Donald Collins and Cole Norton for two quick outs before giving up a 2-2 single to left field by Troy Channing. Collin Ferguson battled off eight pitches before belting a ball to left center past a diving Jake Stewart. Channing scored easily from first as he took off with the pitch on the 3-2 count.
The Cardinal countered with four runs in the bottom of the second to take a 4-1 lead. Stanford's first three hitters reached, with a single, a double, and a single by Brian Ragira, Kenny Diekgroger and Austin Wilson. Wilson's single up the middle Ragira and moved Wilson to second. Jordan Mills (2-3) struck out designated hitter Alex Blandino for the first out of the inning. Lonnie Kauppila singled to center field that scored Diekroger from second. Mills then got catcher Wayne Taylor out swinging. A two out double by Jake Stewart scored Kauppila and Wilson.
The second inning would be Mills last. His line for the evening, two innings pitched, five hits, four runs, four earned, with no walks and three strike outs. Mills 35 pitches on the night, 25 of them for strikes.
McArdle (2-0) shut the Gaels down in the top of the second inning for his final inning of work. He lasted two complete, allowing three hits, one run (earned), with a strike out.
The Gaels rallied back with two runs in the top of the fourth to cut the Stanford lead to one. Brenden Kalfus led off the inning with a base hit up the middle, Toby DeMello put runners on first and second when he got hit by a pitch in the back. Nick Rosso did his job, moving both runners over on a ground out to short. Donald Collins grounded out to short that scored Kalfus for the first run of the inning, DeMello moved to third on the play. Cole Norton singled through the right side to score DeMello.
In the bottom of the third inning the Gaels turned the ball over to reliever Ryan Brockett. Brockett got in a jam in the third, but eventually got out of the bases loaded unscathed. In the bottom of the fourth, the Gaels would not be so lucky, a two our error led to a five run rally for Stanford, capped off by a three run home run by Blandino.
Brockett went 2.0 complete, allowing five hits, five runs, none earned, with two walks while striking out three. Thomas Cortese came in to the game for the Gaels in the sixth inning and was brilliant. In the bottom of the sixth he needed just 12 pitches to strike out the side. In his second inning of work he allowed one hit, and a walk and gave up a run.
Saint Mary's added a run in the top of the eight when Riley Heinzer singled to third and advanced to second on a throwing error. He moved to third on a ground ball to first by Darian Ramage. Shawn O'Brien pinch hit for Collins and clubbed a double to right center that scored Heinzer.
Collins went 1-for-5 with two RBI. Cole Norton extends his hitting streak to a team-high nine games, he went 2-for-5 with an RBI. Senior second baseman Chris Murphy went 2-for-5, Kalfus went 1-for-3. Ferguson continues to hit everything over the plate, he went 3-for-5 on the day, raising his batting average to .394.
Tanner Kichler pitched the seventh and the eighth without allowing a run, the freshman has now thrown 13.0 scoreless innings to start his career at Saint Mary's.
The Gaels return to action on Friday, when Saint Mary's travels to Los Angeles to take on Loyola Marymount for a three game West Coast Conference series beginning at 3:00 p.m. at Page Stadium.