MORAGA, Calif. – UC Irvine entered the game averaging 11.71 runs per game and hitting .371 as a team, not anymore. Mark Anderson was the definition of dominating as he went the distance, throwing a complete game shutout against the Anteaters on Friday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field, leading the Gaels to a 1-0 victory in game one of the series.
Anderson (2-0) needed just a little over two hours to carve up one of the hottest hitting teams in college baseball. He faced 32 batters, just five over the minimum, going 9.0 complete, scattering four hits, no runs one walk, while striking out six. Anderson’s blueprint for success was consistently getting strike one, and getting the first batter of the inning out. In seven of the nine innings he retired the first batter he faced, not. Furthermore, all afternoon Anderson never had a UC Irvine runner get past second base.
UC Irvine (7-1) entered the game with a perfect record, going 7-0 to open the year. They simply did not have an answer for Anderson.
Saint Mary’s (3-5) on the other hand, consistently put the pressure on UCI’s starter Matt Summers (1-1). The Gaels led off the game loading the bases, but Summers escaped the jam. In the bottom of the second Summers created his own mess and it cost him. With the bases loaded Cole Norton drew a walk that scored Chris Murphy. Murphy reached when he was hit by a pitch from Summers.
Defensively, the Gaels were sharp. The miscues that plagued SMC in earlier games were a distant memory. Michael Gastelum played phenomenal defense at shortstop. In the top of the fourth, UC Irvine had their biggest threat of the game. Left fielder Drew Hillman reached after getting hit by a pitch, he moved over to second when Jordan Leyland singled to right field. That rally was quickly erased when Gastelum turned a beautiful 6-4-3 double play to end the inning off the bat of Sean Madigan.
Offensively, the SMC bats tallied eight hits, their second biggest total of the year. Leading the squad was Patrick Wisdom who finished 3-for-4 with a double and two singles. Norton finished 1-for-2, Troy Channing and Brenden Kalfus each went 1-for-4, while Murphy finished 2-for-3 with a run scored.
The Gaels and Anteaters will play game two of the series tomorrow at 1:00 PM at Louis Guisto Field. Taking the ball for SMC will be RHP Kyle Barraclough. He will likely face RHP Kyle Hooper.