MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team split a double header, on an overcast and rainy Sunday afternoon, against Cal State Northridge. The Matadors took the first game3-2, but the Gaels responded with a series clinching, 3-1 victory, on the strength of Martin Agosta's complete game gem.
Agosta (4-0) needed just over 100 pitches to go the full nine, it is his first complete game of the season and third of his career. For the afternoon, Agosta only allowed three base runners, none of them coming after the top of the fifth inning. He scattered three hits, gave up one unearned run, allowed no walks and struck out six. With the win, he now has 14 career victories, which ties him for 10th all-time at Saint Mary's.
Behind Agosta's strong outing, Saint Mary's (14-8) got the clutch hitting it needed, as they scored three runs on 10 hits. SMC scored first in the bottom of the first inning off Cal State Northridge's (11-13) Jerry Keel (1-1). Troy Channing started the two out rally with a double down the right field line. After falling behind 0-2, Collin Ferguson worked the count full and drew a walk to put runners at first and second, Patrick Wisdom drove in Channing from second on a base hit up the middle.
Northridge scored their lone run of nightcap in the top of the fifth inning. Catcher Marty Bowen led off the inning with a single through the left side, he moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt, and then to third on a passed ball. The Matadors then executed a perfectly timed suicide squeeze to score Bowen from third and tie the game briefly at one.
In the bottom of the sixth inning the Gaels rallied. Keel came out for his sixth inning of work, but would not last. Wisdom started the really, reaching on an error by the shortstop. Murphy got hit by a pitch attempting to bunt Wisdom over, putting runners at second and third with one out. Brenden Kalfus hit a deep fly ball to center field that allowed Wisdom to tag up and advance to third. Riley Heinzer came up huge, with a two out RBI single down the right field line scoring Wisdom, Murphy moved to third on the play, and later scored on single by Donald Collins.
Following the single by Collins, Northridge lifted Keel, who pitched 5.2 innings, allowing seven hits, three runs, one earned with one walk and two strike outs.
The Matadors employed the help of two relievers who kept the Gaels off the scoreboard for the rest of the game, but it would not matter. The two run lead would be enough as Agosta retired 14 in a row from the top of the fifth inning on.
In the first game of the afternoon, Saint Mary's received a strong pitching performance from Kyle Barraclough who went 7.0 complete innings, scattering two hits, two runs, both unearned, with four walks and seven strike outs.
Unfortunately, the wet conditions on the field in the first game made for some errant throws, as was the case in the top of the third when Northridge scored two runs following an error on a throw by Wisdom with two outs.
Saint Mary's tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth when Ferguson doubled to left field, Wisdom followed suit with a double down the right field line. With runners at second and third and no outs, Murphy flied out to center field scoring Ferguson, and moving Wisdom to third. Kalfus grounded out to short that scored Wisdom.
That would be for the offense in the first game as the Matadors' Alex Muran threw a complete game, going nine innings, scattering eight hits, allowing two runs, one earned, with no walks and six strike outs.
Jordan Mills (2-2) came into the game for the Gaels in the top of the eighth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning. In the ninth, he got two quick outs and got a ground ball for the third out, but the throw from Boas was offline and kept the inning alive. One batter later, Northridge scored on a ground ball fielded by Mills, his only play was to first, allowing Chester Pak to score, who reached after getting hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.
With the loss it is the first time all season Saint Mary's was not the victor when outhitting their opponent. The Gaels tallied two runs on eight hits, while Cal State Northridge scored three runs on three hits.
Collin Ferguson went 4-for-7 on the day with a run scored; Patrick Wisdom collected a hit in both games, upping his hitting streak to eight games. Cole Norton also collected hits in both games, to keep pace with Wisdom's eight game hitting streak.
Saint Mary's returns to action on Tuesday, March 27y when SMC hosts Sacramento State at the new Louis Guisto Field, first pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m.