SURPRISE, Ariz. - The Saint Mary's baseball team made a terrific late inning comeback, scoring six runs in the sixth inning to defeat Northern Illinois by a final of 10-5 Saturday afternoon at the Coca-Cola College Baseball Classic.
Saint Mary's (7-4) found themselves in an early hole when the Huskies scored four runs in the top of the first inning. NIU's Jordan Huffman started the rally reaching on an error by the Gaels. He moved over to second when Jeff Zimmerman drew a two out walk. Both runners scored on a two out double to left field by Alex Klonowski. Klonowski came around to score on a double to left by Mike Kane who scored the final run of the inning on a base hit up the middle by Alex Beckmann.
Northern Illinois (0-9) added another run in the top of the fourth when the Huskies' third baseman Connor Duckhorn led off the inning with a single. He came around to score purely by hustle, as he stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and was credited with stealing home.
In the bottom of the sixth inning the Gaels took advantage of Northern Illinois' mistakes. Saint Mary's scored six runs on two hits in the inning. Ricky Boas led off the rally reaching first on a dropped third strike and passed ball. Donald Collins and Patrick Wisdom loaded the bases with back-to-back walks. Troy Channing plated a pair when Duckhorn booted a ball. Brenden Kalfus walked to reload the bases for Shawn O'Brien who was credited with an RBI after being hit by a pitch.
With the bases still loaded Chris Murphy recorded the first hit of the inning, a base hit through the left side, scoring Channing. Both O'Brien and Murphy came around to score on a two-out base hit by DonAndre Clark.
For the afternoon seven different Gaels collected a hit. Murphy and Clark led the team going 2-for-4, each with a pair of RBI's. O'Brien went 1-for-3 with two runs driven in; Channing went 1-for-5 with three RBI, while Donald Collins with 1-for-2 with three walks and two runs scored.
Saint Mary's returns to action tomorrow, when SMC takes on No. 11 Arizona State at Surprise Stadium. Senior right hand pitcher Kyle Barraclough (1-1, 1.32 ERA) will take the ball for the Gaels.