BSB | Gaels Sweep Doubleheader From Xavier
The Saint Mary's baseball team won both ends of its doubleheader Sunday versus Xavier to clinch its third straight series victory
MORAGA, Calif. - With clear skies Sunday, the Saint Mary's baseball team was finally able to play its first home games of 2018, and it opened its home slate in style by sweeping a doubleheader from visiting Xavier, using dominating pitching in a 1-0 game one victory and a dramatic comeback for a 7-5 win in game two at Louis Guisto Field.
- Kevin Milam (2-0) set a career high in strikeouts for the second straight start in the opener, fanning 10 Musketeers (3-7). He was dominant in his 2018 home debut, never allowing a runner past second and not allowing a base hit until the fifth.
- Xavier's first batter of the game reached base on an SMC fielding error and stole second base for an early scoring threat, but after that Milam would face the minimum three batters for four straight innings. Only three runners made it to second against Milam, and two of them got there via the stolen base. He didn't allow multiple base runners until the eighth - when he would depart after allowing three straight singles to start the inning.
- Freshman closer Michael Hobbs entered to get back-to-back strikeouts to end the eighth-inning rally and strand XU's go-ahead run on first base. After allowing a leadoff single in the ninth, Hobbs registered another strikeout and induced a game-ending double play for his second save of the year.
- The Gaels' (6-3) lone run of the game came in the second inning, and it could have been even more. SMC got leadoff singles from Jackson Thoreson and Austin Chauvin, and after a failed bunt attempt, loaded the bases when Brett Rasso was hit by a pitch. Joe Vranesh promptly singled through the right side to score Thoreson, but a double play slammed the door on any more runs scoring, and a 1-0 game it would stay the rest of the way.
- Saint Mary's again built a modest lead in game two, scoring the game's first two runs with a two-out RBI double in the third and a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Freshman Jack Murphy recorded his first career RBI in his first career start with the sacrifice fly in the fourth.
- Xavier took its first lead of the day with three runs on four hits in the sixth, chasing starter Nick Frank. Matt Warkentin doubled home Joe Gellenbeck, who led off the inning with a single. And Mitch Gallagher followed Warkentin with another double - both hit to left field - to tie the game at 2-2. Andrew Sexton followed that with the Musketeers' third straight RBI base knock, an RBI single to left that scored Gallagher and made it 3-2.
- Xavier tacked on an insurance run in the seventh with a two-out, full-count RBI single by Natale Monastra, making it 4-2. But that's when Saint Mary's started clawing back. The Gaels got a run back in the bottom half of the seventh thanks to a two-out RBI hit of their own from Joey Fiske, making it 4-3.
- Then came the Gaels' second come-from-behind rally in as many weekends. Saint Mary's scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 7-5 lead for good. The Gaels took advantage of five free passes (four walks, one hit-by-pitch) in the inning to go with three hits.
- SMC loaded the bases with no outs to start the inning, but its first run came on a double play, leaving the Gaels trailing by a run with two outs and a man on third. That's when Edward Haus came through in the clutch, singling to right field on a 1-0 pitch to score Austin Chauvin and tie the game at 5-5.
- Back-to-back walks loaded the bases, and Saint Mary's took its first lead when relief pitcher Conor Grammes was called for a balk, scoring Haus to make it 6-5. After Fiske was hit by a pitch to load the bases again, Dylan Robertson drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 7-5.
- 4: Austin Chauvin was the lone Gael with two multi-hit games Sunday, going 2 for 3 in the opener and 2 for 4 in the night cap. He has three multi-hit games in what is currently a four-game hitting streak.
- 10: Milam's 10 strikeouts in game one marked the second straight game a Saint Mary's starter recorded double-digit Ks. Ken Waldichuk struck out 10 at Arizona State on Sunday.
- 13: Saint Mary's tied a season high with 13 hits in game two. Three Gaels had multi-hit games and nine had at least one hit.
- 24: The Gaels' pitching staff totaled 24 strikeouts on the day with 13 in game one and 11 in game two. SMC pitchers have recorded double-figure strikeouts in four straight games dating to Feb. 24 at Arizona State.
- The three-game series between Xavier and SMC concludes with the finale at 2 p.m. Monday. Left-hander Ken Waldichuk is scheduled to throw versus XU righty Allbry Major. Fans can find live coverage links of all games on SMCGaels.com.
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