April 23, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Preseason All-American Troy Channing's grand slam broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning and St. Mary's went on to post a 10-4 series-opening win over Santa Clara Friday night at Stephen Schott Stadium.
Channing - the reigning West Coast Conference `Freshman of the Year' - hit the first pitch he saw from SCU reliever Paul Twining over the batting cages beyond the left field fence. The drive, Channing's 11th of the year, came after Brock Simon had allowed a double, issued a walk and hit a batter to load the bases in the eighth - all coming with two outs.
Santa Clara (14-20; 1-8 WCC) senior starter Nate Garcia fanned 12 to raise his WCC-leading strikeout total to 62, working seven strong innings to put SCU in a position to win.
St. Mary's (12-20-1; 3-4 WCC) trailed 2-1 in the seventh but rallied to tie the game on an RBI sac fly by Channing, then took a 3-2 lead off Garcia courtesy of a clutch two-out hit by Patrick Wisdom. Channing finished the night with six RBI, going 2-for-2 officially with a run and a walk.
Garcia had struck out nine in the first four innings and allowed just six hits and was charged with three runs (two earned). Garcia would watch from the dugout as St. Mary's celebrated Channing's slam.
The Gaels tacked on three more runs in the ninth, two coming off Mikey Reynolds' triple into the left-centerfield gap.
Simon (1-1) was tagged with the loss for Santa Clara. SMC starter Mark Anderson tossed eight innings of 10-hit ball and upped his season record to 3-3.
GAME NOTES: Santa Clara's home record at Stephen Schott Stadium moves to 11-11, which includes two `neutral site' games that were part of the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament... 1B Curtis Wagner (.406 BA) hit a towering solo homerun to right field in the fifth inning, his second of the year... Mark O'Brien was ejected in the top of the fifth inning for disputing a call at first base.