MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team's bid to rally back from a 4-2 deficit late, fell short one run as the Gaels lost to Gonzaga in game two of a three game series by a final score of 4-3 Saturday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field.
Saint Mary's (22-22/6-11 WCC) had their opportunities to tie the game late when Nick Rosso drilled a ball to deep left center field that was tracked down by the Bulldogs' left fielder Brock Slavin, stranding the tying run at third and the go ahead run at first.
The Gaels started the eighth inning rally trailing 4-2 when Collin Ferguson doubled to right center to start the rally. The double was the 16th of the season which ties Ferguson for fourth all-time in a single season. He moved to third on a single to left field by Brenden Kalfus. With two outs Chris Murphy came up big for the Gaels once again, fighting off several nasty pitches before hitting a single to left field scoring Ferguson from third. The RBI was the 24 of the season which is a new career-best and leads the team, it was also his 14th two-out RBI of the year.
Gonzaga (28-17/8-9 WCC) scored two runs in the top of the first inning off starter Kyle Barraclough (2-7). Marco Gonzalez (6-1) led off the game with a single through the left side, he moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Steven Halcomb. Clayton Eslick reached after getting hit by a pitch on a 3-2 count, Royce Bolinger singled to left field to load the bases with no outs. Alex Stanford singled for the fourth hit of the inning to score Gonzalez and Slavin walked later that inning for the other run for the Bulldogs.
Barraclough pitched effectively around the seven hits he surrendered, he was a victim of the pitch count today as he threw 116 pitches through 5.2 innings. He allowed the seven hits, three runs, all earned, with four walks and four strike outs. He is now one strikeout shy of tying Tom Candiotti for second all-time with 280 career strike outs.
Saint Mary's scored a run in the bottom of the first to cute the Bulldogs lead to one. Ferguson singled to left field off Gonzales with two outs and eventually came around to score on a single by Kalfus up the middle. Kalfus went 2-for-4 with an RBI and remains red-hot for Saint Mary's.
The Gaels briefly tied the game up in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Gaels scored a run with a bases loaded walk to Patrick Wisdom scoring Toby DeMello who reached by way of a walk to lead off the inning. The Gaels left the bases loaded when Kalfus grounded out to third to end that threat.
Gonzaga took the lead for good in the top of the sixth inning when Barraclough could not get the final out of the frame. He retired two batter quickly, but allowed a two-out single to Gonzales and a walk to Halcomb and the hit Eslick to load the bases with two away. The hit batter ended the day for Barraclough, as head coach Jedd Soto turned the ball over to Thomas Cortese who walked Bolinger on eight pitches to bring in the go ahead run.
Cortese pitched 2.1 effective innings, only surrendering one hit, one run, unearned with three walks and a strike out. Ryan Brockett came in to pitch the top of the ninth and allowed just one walk.
Gonzaga's Gonzales went 7.2 innings, scattering six hits, three runs, all earned, with six walks and seven strike outs. He turned the ball over to relief pitcher David Bigelow who went the final 1.1 innings and did not allow a batter to reach safely for his third save of the year.
The Gaels and Bulldogs will play the rubber game tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. at Louis Guisto Field. Saint Mary's will be sending out sophomore lefty Jordan Mills.