MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team could not come back from an early 5-1 deficit, as they feel to Gonzaga 7-5 in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field.
Saint Mary's (22-23/6-12 WCC) outhit Gonzaga (29-17/9-9 WCC) however, they could not take advantage of runners in scoring position, hitting just .222 going 4-for-18 in those situations. The Bulldogs on the other hand hit .353 with runners in scoring position going 6-for-17.
In the top of the first inning Jordan Mills (4-4) fell victim of the unusually live yard to left field. He surrendered a lead-off double to shortstop Steven Halcomb, he came around to score when right fielder Royce Bolinger clubbed a home run over the left field fence, only the second home run of the season to go that direction. Mills settled down however and got starter Andy Hunter to ground out to short on a nice play by Ricky Boas.
In the bottom of the first inning the Gaels didn't take long to score their first run. Donald Collins led off the inning with a double to left center, one pitch later Cole Norton followed suit smashing a ball in the same location to score Collins.
The Bulldogs rallied back for two more in the second inning, Brock Slavin led off the inning with a six pitch walk, he moved over to second when Mills hit Alex Bonczyk. Mitchell Gunsolus singled up the middle that scored Slavin and moved Bonczyk to third, who came around to score on a balk. Marco Gonzales single to center field with two outs scored Gunsolus for the third run of the inning.
Once again the Gaels responded, Chris Murphy led off the second inning with his fourth double of the season, a ball that bounced off the top of the wall down the right field line. Murphy came around to score on a one out base hit up the middle by Ricky Boas.
Saint Mary's scored for the third consecutive inning when Ferguson and Wisdom led off with back-to-back singles. With two outs, Murphy clubbed his second double of the day, a shot down the right field line that scored both runners. The two RBI's were Murphy's 26th of the season, and 16th two-out RBI's of the season.
In the top of the fourth inning Mills walked back-to-back hitters to end his day. Head coach Jedd Soto handed the ball off to reliever Patrick Keane. After a bunt fell for a base hit, the Bulldogs loaded the bases but could only score one run on an infield single to short.
Mills went 3.0 innings pitched, allowing four hits, six runs, all earned, three walks and four strike outs.
In the fourth inning the Gaels kept up the offensive display, Collins led off the rally with a double down the left field line and scored on the single up the middle from Fergusson, all this coming off new Gonzaga pitcher Derek Callahan (3-1), who replaced Hunter to start the bottom of the fourth. Hunter went 3.0 innings, allowing seven hits, four runs, all earned, with one walk and a strike out. Callahan earned the win, going 1.2 innings, allowing three hits, a run, with no walks and two strike outs.
In the top of the seventh the Bulldogs added an insurance run, but Keane limited the damage. He was lifted in favor of Ben Griset. Keane went 4.0 complete, allowing four hits, one earned run with a walk and two strike outs.
Gonzaga's third relief pitcher of the afternoon, Kenny Smith, earned his first save of the season, going 4.1 innings, allowing one hit with two walks and a strike out.
The Gaels will return to action on Tuesday, when they travel to Sacramento to play the Hornets at Hornet Stadium.