MORAGA, Calif. — The Saint Mary’s baseball team closed out its five-game home stand Tuesday in dominating fashion on the mound, as Johnny York threw eight scoreless innings and Kevin Milam earned his fifth save in a 4-0 non-conference shutout win over Nevada at Louis Guisto Field.
York (2-1) held Nevada (3-9) to six scattered hits in eight-plus innings. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth, striking out five and not allowing a walk in his outing. The senior lowered his early-season ERA by nearly five runs with the performance after struggling in his first three appearances.
The freshman Milam earned his West Coast Conference-leading fifth save of the year with three outs in the ninth. York took the mound in the top of the ninth but gave up leadoff singles to Jordan Pearce and Justin Bridgman. But Milam entered with the tying run on deck and got outs from the Wolfpack’s 3-4-5 hitters to clinch the victory.
Saint Mary’s (9-3) has now won two in a row and six of its last seven. The Gaels travel to 2014 College World Series champion and 2015 runner-up Vanderbilt for their first road series of the year. The three-game series begins Friday in Nashville, Tenn. All three games will be televised on the SEC Network Plus.
The Gaels took an early 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the bottom of the first. Brett Rasso hit a one-out single and scrambled to second on a passed ball by Nevada catcher Kaleb Foster. Zach Kirtley’s single moved Rasso to third, where he would later score from on Jackson Thoreson’s RBI groundout. Rasso led the Gaels with a 2 for 4 day and a run scored.
SMC extended its lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks to three freshmen. RBI singles by rookies Joe Vranesh and Ryan Novis, as well as a sacrifice fly by Milam put Saint Mary’s and York up 4-0. Novis finished 1 for 3 with an RBI and a putout in right field in his first career start.
Cole Henderson threw four innings of scoreless relief for Nevada. Cooper Powell (0-2) took the loss with four runs – just two earned – in four innings. Bridgman and Jimmy Lunardelli both went 2 for 4 for Nevada.
The two teams will meet again for a midweek matchup on April 5 in Reno. Saint Mary’s swept the home-and-home two-game series from Nevada in 2016.
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