SPOKANE, Wash. – In the finale of an important road series for the Saint Mary’s baseball team, the Gaels battled all afternoon. For the third-straight game the Gaels starting pitching went the distance, as SMC upset No. 24 Gonzaga by a final score of 7-6, coming back twice, eventually going ahead for good in the top of the ninth on Saturday to take two of three from the Bulldogs at Patterson Complex.
The wild afternoon culminated with the Gaels two-run rally in the top of the ninth. Facing Gonzaga’s (22-13/6-3 WCC) tough closer Cody Martin (2-1), Donald Collins led off the inning with a double to right center, his third double of the day. Collins moved to third on the text book sacrifice bunt by Michael Gastelum . Freshman second baseman Richard Boas continued his epic weekend, knocking in Collins on a base-hit to left field. Boas later stole second and came around to score on an error by the Zag’s shortstop on a ground ball from Troy Channing .
Martin entered the game with a 0.76 ERA which led the WCC, in 35.1 innings pitched he only allowed 20 hits and three earned runs, with a 4.8 k/BB ratio. For the afternoon Martin went 2.2 innings, allowing four hits, two runs, one earned with a strikeout.
Kyle Barraclough (5-3) came out for his ninth inning of work in the bottom of the ninth. After giving up four runs early, Barraclough put up a fight limiting Gonzaga to four hits and two runs over the final six innings.
In the bottom of the ninth Barraclough served up a solo home run to catcher Cameron Edman, his second of the day. Following the solo blast, Barraclough retired three of the next four hitters to record his fifth-straight win. Barraclough’s line was 9.0 complete, scattering nine hits, six runs, all earned, with one walk and seven strike outs.
“In all my years at Saint Mary’s College we’ve never pitched a complete three game set on the weekend and had all three of our starters throw a complete game,” said head coach Jedd Soto . “Obviously, the starting pitching was great. Barraclough did a nice job today of giving our guys a chance, he gave up those runs, but really did a nice job afterwards of shutting down their offense which is very good. Defensively all weekend long our guys were exceptional, especially up the middle both Michael Gastelum and Ricky Boas were outstanding, on a very tough infield. Other than the mistakes on Friday defensively, we were very, very good, outfield play was exceptional, Donald Collins had a huge weekend for us at the plate and in the outfield. Patrick Wisdom at the plate was tough the entire time.”
Saint Mary’s (17-17/5-4 WCC) came back in this game twice. Gonzaga rolled out to an early 4-0 lead after scoring two runs in the bottom of the second and third. The Gaels roared back with a four run fifth inning.
Wisdom led off the inning with a solo blast over the left field fence on the first pitch he saw from the Bulldog’s starter Marco Gonzalez. Toby DeMello singled through the left side and moved over to third on the one out double to right field by Collins. Both Collins and DeMello scored on the double down the right field line. Gastelum scored the fourth run of the inning on a two out double from Justin Fazio .
Coming into the series, Saint Mary’s hadn’t won a series in Spokane since 2005. SMC returns to action on Monday, April 25, when the Gaels begin game one of a five game home-stand at 3:00 PM at Louis Guisto Field, the Gaels will square off against Sacramento State.