Huntsville, TX – In a rematch from the first game of the Sam Houston State Tournament, Saint Mary’s (6-2) took on host Sam Houston State (6-3) and once again came away with the 4-3 win Sunday afternoon at Don Sander Stadium. With the win the Gaels record at the Hillcrest Ford/Bearkat Baseball Classic improved to tournament-best 3-1.
The Gaels were the home team today and jumped out to an early 2-0; senior Cory Miller singled to kick things off for the Gaels and then advanced to second on an error by pitcher Brent Power. An error on the third baseman allowed Greg Ditmer to reach safely and Miller to advance to third. A single from freshman Troy Channing scored Miller and moved to second. A wild pitch allowed Ditmer and Channing to advance 90 feet, senior Ryan Young walked, Channing moved to third and Ditmer scored on a wild pitch, making the score 2-0.
The Gaels would strike again in the bottom of the third when freshman catcher Toby DeMello scored Channing on a sac-fly. That would be all the scoring the Gaels would get until the bottom of the eighth. In the meantime Gonzalez was in complete control in his first start for the Gaels on the mound. The righty threw six complete, scattering five hits, one earned run, with one walk and a strike out.
Sam Houston State would make it interesting however, scoring two runs in the top of the eighth of reliever Tony Selden (1-0). Selden pitched a 1-2-3 seventh striking out the side in his first inning of work in 2009. In the eighth however Selden ran into some trouble, giving up three straight singles to load the bases with no outs to Justin Keithley, Braeden Riley and Seth Hammock. Selden retired the next two batters via a strike out, but could not get out of the inning unscathed giving up a two run single to Tyler Lundy to tie the game at three.
The game would not remain tied long at all, as SMC came to bat in the bottom of the eighth and quickly went to work. Red-hot Ryan Mulligan pinch hit for DeMello and sharply singled up the middle. Mulligan would advance to second on yet another Bearkat wild pitch; this time off reliever Sean Weatherford (0-2). A sac bunt from Michael Gastelum put the go-ahead run just 90 feet away. Following back to back hit batsmen Cory Miller came up to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, and following an error from the shortstop Ryan Mooney, Mulligan would cross the plate for the eventual game winning run, 4-3.
Sam Houston State would make things tense again for the Gaels as Selden issued a walk and hit a better to have runners at first and second with one out. But two lazy fly balls would end the game, sealing the win for Selden who went three complete, issuing four hits, two runs, both earned, one walk and five strike outs.
Following the game, four Saint Mary’s players were selected to the all-tournament team; they were Kyle Jensen, Cory Miller, Troy Channing and Brian Justice. The Gaels will return to action on Tuesday, heading back to Stanford, CA to take on the Stanford Cardinal at the Sunken Diamond, first pitch is at 6:00 PM.
Complete List of Hillcrest Ford/Bearkat Baseball Classic All-Tournament Team:
Catcher – Cory Burleson, Nebraska
Infielder – Ben Carlson, Missouri State (Most Valuable Player)
Infielder – Seth Hammock, Sam Houston
Infielder – Braeden Riley, Sam Houston
Infielder – Travis McComack, Missouri State
Outfielder – Kyle Jensen, Saint Mary’s
Outfielder – Chris Playter, Missouri St
Outfielder – Cory Miller, Saint Mary’s
Utility – Adam Bailey, Nebraska
Designated Hitter – Terry Channing, Saint Mary’s
Pitcher – Mike Nesseth, Nebraska
Pitcher – Brian Justice, Saint Mary’s
Pitcher – Buddy Baumann, Missouri St.
Pitcher – Jacob Howard, Sam Houston State