Feb. 26, 2007
Moraga, CA- To beat the defending National Champions is one thing - to win by the way of six newcomers is another story. The Saint Mary's baseball team currently sports a six-game winning streak which includes a River City Classic championship.
After sweeping Utah Valley State at home in a three-game set by the combined score of 32-6 the young Gaels got on a role. SMC pounded out 13 runs at Nevada and then upended No. 7/9 ranked Oregon State by the score of 4-1. The Gaels then erupted for 14 runs to race past Sacramento State.
The team title in the Annual River City Classic marks the first time the Gaels have accomplished the feat in school history.
Against Oregon State, junior college transfer Sean Gleason earned his second consecutive victory with six strong innings. Freshman Taylor Stanton was lights out in relief, earning his third consecutive save.
Gleason fanned a career-high 13 in eight innings against Utah Valley State on February 16. In his last two starts, the La Junta, CO native is 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA and 16 Ks in 14 innings pitched.
Senior Eric Cattoni sparked the Gaels at the plate with two hits while sophomore Joel Staples drove in two runs. Staples drove in nine runs over the week while Cattoni strung together a .556 batting clip.
The win over the defending national champions is the first for the Saint Mary's baseball program since a 5-2 win over Pepperdine in 1993.
"It is nice to see the team expect to beat the defending national champs. We have a talented group that will only get better," Soto said.
Against Sacramento State the Gaels pounded out 18 hits, including four home runs. Staples, Cattoni, Michael Gonzales and J.P. Musgrove each touched them all as Musgrove added a 4-for-4 day with four RBI.
Saint Mary's has improved by 12 wins under Soto in the last two seasons with a six victories per year. The Gaels currently hold a 9-8 record and return home for eight straight home games.
SMC will host Columbia in a four-game series with two doubleheaders. The Gaels will open the homestand on Saturday, March 3 at 11 a.m. from Louis Guisto Field.