MORAGA, Calif. -- For the second day in a row, the Saint Mary's baseball team fell into an early hole and saw Minnesota pile on at the end as the Gaels fell 12-1 to the Golden Gophers in the finale of the teams' two-game series at Louis Guisto Field.
With the result, Saint Mary's drops to 8-12 overall. Minnesota improves to 11-6. Saint Mary's now moves on to a weekend series in Portland where the Gaels will begin West Coast Conference play with three against the Pilots.
"We need to do a better job of coaching these guys. That's what it comes down to. We hope to prepare them to not let games like this happen," Saint Mary's coach Eric Valenzuela said. "Unfortunately, it happened but like I told them, we've got to stay positive. We get a fresh new start here with conference. Hopefully that the guys are doing well continue to do well and the guys that are bleeding get a fresh start."
The Gophers and Gaels traded runs in the first inning Wednesday, with an infield hit by Trevor Ellison bringing Anthony Gonsolin home in the bottom of the inning. Minnesota starter Cody Campbell worked out of the jam though, limiting Saint Mary's to just 1 run and a tie score.
From there, Minnesota added on and eventually blew the game open. The Gophers scored two in the third, three in the fifth, one in the sixth, one in the eighth and four in the ninth off five different Saint Mary's pitchers to build the lopsided lead.
Offensively, Saint Mary's carried a bit of momentum from Tuesday's slugfest, collecting nine hits in Wednesday's loss. Ellison and Anthony Villa each had two hits, and five other plays had one hit apiece. Those nine hits were scattered throughout the game though, and the Gaels could never string a few together to mount a rally.
Wednesday's starter Jake Valdez worked five innings, allowing five hits and six runs, only one of which was earned. He also struck out four.
"The one thing we were able to do these last two days, regardless of result, was get some guys in there," Valenzuela said. "Regardless of if they did good or bad, at least we got them some game time because we're going to need some of those guys to help us in conference. We're good. We're going to stay positive and these guys will get it."
Friday's game in Portland is set for a 3 p.m. start, followed by a 1 p.m. first pitch on Saturday. Sunday's series finale will begin at noon. Links to live audio and statistics for all three games can be found on the Schedule page at SMCGaels.com.