LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team found the long ball, with Troy Channing clubbing his 44th career home run and freshman Collin Ferguson belting his second career home run. However, it would not be enough as the Lions took game one of the series 9-4, on the strength of five extra base hits, on Friday afternoon at Page Stadium.
In the bottom of the first inning, Gaels (14-10/1-3 WCC) starter Ben Griset (2-2) ran into some trouble early. He issued a leadoff single to LMU's (9-12/1-0 WCC) Matt Lowenstein, Griset then hit Alex Guthrie to put two runners on with no outs. After a sacrifice bunt, and a foul out to second, the Lions got a two-out hit by Colton Plaia to score both runners from second and third, putting LMU up 2-0 early.
Griset was plagued by the extra base hits, surrendering four doubles and a home run on the afternoon. He pitched six complete, surrendering a season-high eight hits, seven earned runs, with four walks and three strike outs.
In the top of the second Collin Ferguson put the Gaels on the board with a solo home run, his second of the season. On a 2-2 offering from Lion's starter Colin Welmon (4-1), Ferguson sent a ball into deep right center field. Ferguson finished the day 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to four games.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Lions tacked on another run when David Edwards led off with a double down the left field line. He came in to score on the single to left field by Joey Boney.
Channing led off the top of the fourth inning, after falling behind 1-2 he saw a pitch he liked from Welmon and deposited the offering over the fence in left center field.
The Lions countered in the bottom of the fourth inning Nick Devian led off with a double down the left field line. Griset got ahead of Devian 0-2 but the Lion's designated hitter battled back and worked the count full before hitting the ball just inside the line. He eventually came around to score on Edwards' second double of the afternoon. Edwards scored the second run on the inning on a double to right centerfield off the bat of Matt Lowenstein.
In the bottom of the fifth inning the Lions put the game out of reach scoring two more runs on a two-run home run by Plaia. Plaia finished the day going 3-for-4 with a run scored and five runs batted in. Lowenstein also went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two driven in for the Lions.
In the top of the sixth inning the Gaels scored two more times, Donald Collins led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Norton blasted a triple to left center that scored Collins, and eventually scored when Channing reached by way of an error by the Lions right fielder.
The Lions would score two more times to make it 9-4. Welmon went 8.0 complete, allowing eight hits, four runs, all earned, with no walks and four strike outs.
Tanner Kichler came into the game for Saint Mary's in the bottom of the seventh. He went two innings, allowing three hits, two runs, both earned with a walk. His 13.1 scoreless innings streak came to an end in the seventh when a leadoff double came around to score.
The Gaels one through four hitters went a combined 7-for-15 with four runs scored and four runs driven in. Collins went 2-for-4 with a run scored, Norton finished the day 2-for-4 with a run scored and two driven in, Channing went 2-for-3 with a runs scored and two RBI, and Ferguson finished 1-for-4 with the home run.
Game two of the series will take place tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at Page Stadium. The Gaels will likely be sending RHP Martin Agosta (4-0), he will be facing the Lions' RHP Trevor Megill (1-4).