MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team ran its winning streak to a program best five games to start the season, as SMC defeated Brigham Young 7-2 in the first game of a three game West Coast Conference series on Thursday.
Saint Mary's (5-0/1-0 WCC) once again received a tremendous pitching performance from starter Martin Agosta (1-0.) Agosta threw a season-high eight complete innings, scattering seven hits, one run, one earned, with no walks and six strike outs in front of 35 major league scouts.
In the top of the first inning Agosta worked quickly, striking out two and getting a lazy fly ball. In the top of the second things didn't go as smoothly. BYU (2-2/0-1 WCC) tallied three singles against Agosta, the third a base hit from catcher Wes Guenther knocked in Alex Wolfe who started the hit parade. After taking a step off the mound to collect himself, Agosta struck out Adam Law for the final out. From the second inning on Agosta was near unhittable, recording first pitch strikes to 12 of the 18 batters he faced. He retired the side in order three times.
The Cougars starter Chris Capper (0-2) started off strong, getting the Gaels to go down quietly in the first, after that SMC's bats came to life. In the bottom of the second Troy Channing got a three run rally started by reaching first on an error, he moved over to second on a single Shawn O'Brien. Capper loaded the bases with a seven pitch walk to Chris Murphy. After getting the second out of the inning, Donald Collins strode up to the plate a crushed a triple to left center to clear the bases.
The Gaels added a fourth run in the bottom of the third When Channing doubled to left center to score Cole Norton from first. SMC added two more runs in the sixth ending the day for Capper who went six complete, allowing 10 hits, six runs, three earned, with a walk and four strike outs.
Cameron Keysor made his collegiate debut for the Cougars in the bottom of the seventh. He walked Patrick Wisdom on five pitches and Brenden Kalfus on six pitches to start his afternoon. After a mound visit Keysor got Channing to fly out to right field which moved Wisdom to third. O'Brien beat out a potential double play for the fielder's choice to score Wisdom from third.
In the top of the ninth Patrick Keane took the ball for Saint Mary's. Keane struggled early, giving up a double down the line and a single to left center. Keane settled down to induce a 4-6-3 double play which scored the runner from third but ended the threat. Keane finished off the game getting Dillon Robinson to ground out to second.
Collins had an excellent day at the plate for the Gaels, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and four driven in. The three hits and four RBI tie career highs. O'Brien was the only other Gael to collect multiple hits, he went 2-for-4. Ricky Boas extended his hitting streak to give games with a base hit in the seventh that knocked in a run, he was 1-for-4 on the day.
Game two of the series is Friday at 2:00 p.m.; Kyle Barraclough will take the ball for Saint Mary's, while BYU will counter with junior lefty.