MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team took game one of a three game series against Gonzaga, winning 6-4 on Friday afternoon. The Gaels scored six runs early, and held on to the win after receiving a tremendous pitching performance from Martin Agosta and Patrick Keane.
Agosta (8-2) was dominating to start the game, he retired the Bulldogs in order in the first, third and fifth inning. Through five innings he only surrendered one walk and three hits, two were infield hits. For the afternoon, he went 6.1 innings pitched, allowing nine hits, four runs, all earned with two walks and three strike outs.
Saint Mary's (22-21/6-10 WCC) raced out of the box hanging six runs in the first three innings on Gonzaga's (27-17/7-9 WCC) starter Tyler Olson (4-2). The Gaels finished with six runs on eight hits in the day, six of those hits came in the first three innings, as SMC showed great patience against Olson to get into favorable counts.
In the bottom of the first inning Donald Collins walked on four-straight pitches and moved to second on an error by the Bulldogs second baseman that allowed Ricky Boas to reach safely. With two outs and runners at first and second Patrick Wisdom hit a double down the right field line to score Collins from third. Brenden Kalfus scored Boas from third on a two out single up the middle.
The Gaels got another huge two out hit in the second inning when Toby DeMello singled through the right side, a costly error by the Bulldogs allowed Collins to reach safely on what should have been a double play. Boas made Gonzaga pay with a double to left center field scoring both runners.
In the bottom of the third inning it was DeMello's turn for the clutch two out hit. As he crushed a double over the right fielder Payden Cawley Lamb, to score Chris Murphy and Kalfus.
After the third inning Olson settled down and got better as the game went on, only surrendering two more hits on the day. He threw a complete game, going 8.0 innings, allowing eight hits, six runs, three earned with three walks and six strike outs.
With a six run cushion Agosta was allowed to attack the hitters, doing so at well. He routinely pitched ahead in the count. With his pitch count in the 80's midway through the sixth inning he finally ran into some trouble. The Bulldogs scored three runs on four hits, to cut the Gaels lead in half.
Marco Gonzalez led off the sixth inning rally with a single to right center field, he moved to second on a base hit by Clayton Eslick. With one out Agosta loaded the bases when he surrendered a single up the middle to Royce Bolinger that scored Gonzalez. Agosta loaded the bases when he hit Alex Stanford with a pitch, a single by Cawley Lamb and a ground out to second by Brock Slavin netted the Bulldogs two more runs. Agosta got out of the inning getting Mitchell Gunsolus to ground out to short.
In the top of the seventh inning Agosta came out for another inning of work and immediately got into a jam again. He served up a single to pinch hitter Zach Abbruzza, and then walked Gonzales. A fielder's choice allowed Steven Halcomb to score, but Abbruzza was tagged out at third for the first out of the inning. Eslick singled to center field to once again load the bases for Gonzaga, which ended the day for Agosta.
In to pitch for Saint Mary's was closer Patrick Keane. Keane immediately got the Gaels out of the jam giving up a sacrifice fly, before getting a strike out to end the inning.
That would be it for the Bulldogs offensively, as Keane blew away the Bulldogs in the eighth getting three strike outs all looking. He pitched an uneventful top of the ninth to earn his sixth save of the season, going 2.2 innings, allowing just one hit, with no runs, no walks while striking out four.
Boas and DeMello led the Gaels with two hits and two RBI's apiece. Kalfus also had two hits, while scoring a run and knocking in a run.
The Gaels and Bulldogs will play game two of the series tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Louis Guisto Field. Kyle Barraclough will take the mound for SMC, while Gonzaga will counter with Gonzalez.