Baseball Loses to Saint Mary’s in Series Opener

Baseball Loses to Saint Mary’s in Series Opener

Series Preview

MORAGA, Calif. – Tyler Thornton tossed seven strong innings and six Saint Mary's players drove in runs to give the Gaels a 9-2 win over Santa Clara baseball on Friday in the West Coast Conference series opener.  
 
JC Santini and Ryan Novis combined to drive in five of the runs for the Gaels (28-19, 13-9 West Coast Conference) who scored all its runs in the middle innings.  
 
Santa Clara (11-36, 4-18 WCC) got on the board first when Jake MacNichols took Thornton (9-1) deep in the top of the second for his 13th home run of the season.  
 
The solo shot put MacNichols in a tie for eighth place in the all-time Santa Clara singles season home run list.  
 
Broncos starter Russell Grant II (2-4) kept the Gaels off the scoreboard through the first three frames before running into trouble with two outs in the fourth.  The lefty walked Austin Chauvin and allowed a single to Gio Diaz before Santini drove them home with a double that put the Gaels up for good, 2-1.  
 
Saint Mary's added to its lead in the fifth, scoring six runs when it sent 10 batters to the plate.  The Gaels started the inning with three consecutive base knocks off Grant.  Novis tripled just past the outstretched arms of a diving Cam Allie at center to plate two runs to extend its lead to 4-1.  They added four more runs in the inning off Bronco relievers Ethan Heinrich and Alex Reelfs.  
 
Thornton went seven innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out five before Nathan Schneider came in relief.
 
Grant took the loss after giving up five runs and seven hits over four innings.  
 
Andre Nnebe connected on a solo home run in the ninth against Schneider.  
 
Freshman Luke Tillmann pitched two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth innings for his longest outing as a Bronco.  
 
NEXT UP
Santa Clara and Saint Mary's play game two of the series on Saturday with the first pitch at 1 p.m.

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