By: Alex Crook, SMCGaels.com Correspondent
MORAGA, Calif. — The comeback kids were at it again Friday, as the Saint Mary’s baseball team stormed back with an eight-run sixth inning to down Pacific 15-9 at Louis Guisto Field for the team’s 14th comeback win of the season.
The offense was as hot as the weather, as eight different Gaels batted in runs throughout the day. It’s the second time this week Saint Mary’s has overcome a five-run deficit after also doing so Tuesday in an 11-6 win over San Jose State.
“We just couldn’t panic,” said Gaels head coach Eric Valenzuela, who was honored before the game for his 100th career win. “We had to take it one at-bat at a time and we were good.”
Four different Gaels drove in at least two runs with Zach Kirtley leading the charge, tying a season-high with three. Kirtley went 2 for 5 on the day, recording his first hit and RBI since the Gaels’ 24-7 win over Cal on April 11.
“When we get down there’s no quit,” said Kirtley. “We’re going to have to score some time … we didn’t panic and we knew we had a lot of game left, so we just took our best at-bats and our best swings.”
Saint Mary’s threatened several times throughout the afternoon with varied results. They loaded the bases in the sixth and seventh innings, not producing runs in the latter while putting on a clinic in the sixth.
Eddie Haus recorded a season-high four hits in a very productive 4-for-5 afternoon with two RBIs and three runs.
“Things are going well,” Haus said. “I’m taking good at-bats, swinging at quality strikes and hitting the ball hard. The pitchers are finding holes and I want to keep it going throughout the weekend and the rest of the year.”
Haus, who’s now recorded hits in seven of his last nine games, extended his hit streak to three with a solo home run in the second inning.
The sixth inning scoring began with a sacrifice fly from Jackson Thoreson, then six of those eight runs came with one out as the Gaels refused to let Pacific’s 8-3 lead bring them down.
“You don’t take your foot off the pedal,” Kirtley said. “You have to keep scoring runs. A five-run lead isn’t enough so you have to score more to win these kinds of games.”
Saint Mary’s continues its three-game series with Pacific at 1 p.m. Saturday. Tickets can be purchased on SMCGaels.com and fans can tune into the action on SMCGaels.com.
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