Moraga, CA – After some marathon games last weekend Saint Mary’s (11-7) got back to their winning ways in tidy fashion, as the Gaels would defeat Cornell (2-5) 5-3, in just a shade over two ours on the strength of a dominant pitching performance from freshman Nathan Gonzalez, and from big homeruns from Anthony Aliotti and Justin Fazio.
Talented true-freshman Nathan Gonzalez (1-1) took the ball for the Gaels on Tuesday, and much to the pleasure of the SMC faithful he got through the first inning quickly. Taking the ball for Cornell was Tony Bertucci (0-1) who gave up singles to Cory Miller and Troy Channing, but the Gaels were unable to capitalize on the hits and the score after one was 0-0.
Gonzalez would get out of the top of the second with little damage, he gave up singles to Scott Hardinger and Jerry Vitiello, but lazy fly balls from Nate David, Adam Jacobs and Frank Hager ended the Cornell half of the inning.
Saint Mary’s would get on the board first when Ryan Mulligan would get hit by a pitch on the thigh and come around to score on a big league fly ball from Channing that would be dropped by the left fielder to put the Gaels up 1-0. What appeared to be a quick inning for Big Red starter Bertucci would be extended by a single up the middle from Justin Fazio that would score Channing from second, 2-0 Gaels.
Cornell would cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth when a leadoff double to Hardinger. Hardinger would move over to third on a deep fly all from David, and a ground ball to the shortstop Murphy would bring Hardinger in 2-1 Gaels.
Anthony Aliotti would put SMC back up by two with a first pitch homerun to the opposite field for his third homerun of the season. Bertucci would get two quick outs, and then a great defensive play from right fielder Brodsky who would dive full extension to rob Miller of an extra base hit.
Gonzalez would continue his strong pitching performance getting the Big Red to sit down in order 1-2-3. The freshman pitcher worked with a quick pace all afternoon, and worked ahead and pounded the strike zone with strikes letting his defense do the work behind him.
Fazio would collect his second hit of the afternoon crushing a solo homerun into right field, it didn’t appear to have enough to get out but the ball had plenty of carry for the left fielder’s second homerun of the season, putting the gales up 4-2.
In the top of the sixth Gonzalez made it look easy getting two lazy fly ball outs from Brodsky and Schmeltzer, and a ground ball out to the shortstop from Hardinger, to retire six in a row.
The Gael offense would get back to work in the bottom of the sixth, with a leadoff single from Anthony Aliotti, and then on a beautiful hit and run with Tim David, Aliotti moved to third and with the good hustle on David’s part he ended up safely at second to put runners at second and third with no outs. Chris Murphy would do his job and bring Aliotti in on a groundball to the second baseman, 5-1 Gaels.
Cornell would add two runs in the top of the seventh when Jacobs got hit by a pitch to put a runner on, a single through the left side from Vitiello. A double to right center from Hager would score both runners, 5-3 Saint Mary’s.
Bertucci would start the top of the seventh, but a single to Channing would end the afternoon. Bertucci’s line on the afternoon was 6.1 innings pitched, surrendering nine hits, five runs, three earned, no walks and two strike outs.
In the top half of the eight Gonzalez dealt, striking out the side 1-2-3 showing his best command of the afternoon. For the afternoon Gonzalez went eight complete, scattering seven hits, surrendering three runs, all earned, two walks and four strike outs. Coming into pitch for the Gaels to close out the game was reliever Jimmy Munill, who would come in to face the bottom of the order. Munill would strike out David swinging and get the game ending 4-6-3 ground ball double play to end the game for his second save of the season.
The Gaels would have three players collecting multiple hits, as Channing, and Fazio would go 2-for-4, Aliotti would go 2-for-3. David, Fisher, Miller, would each collect hits for the Gaels. Saint Mary’s and the Big Red will return to the Diamond tomorrow Wednesday, March 18 at 3:00 PM.