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Friday, March 26, 2010
Saint Mary's fans still enjoy the day

By Diamond Leung

SAN FRANCISCO -- Alana Ubeda and Luis Ramirez, with their faces painted Saint Mary's colors, sat in front-row club-level seats at AT&T Park, and the seniors at the school seemed to carry with them a sense of responsibility.

They stood up and chanted "Let's Go Gaels," but were unable to sustain it for the desired length of time.

"I know, right?" Ubeda said. "We're trying. What is going on?"

That's what happens when your team is trailing by 30-some-odd points. With the Gaels never making a ballgame of it against Baylor, those who came out for a watch party on a cloudless day simply made a nice afternoon of the event rather than a raucous one.

Admission into the ballpark was free to watch the game on the high-definition scoreboard and the TVs inside. Most of the party goers mingled over beers and garlic fries with a view overlooking McCovey Cove rather than get too worked up about the rout.

Waiting in line for some ballpark fare, Saint Mary's grad Steve McCarthy smiled as his young daughter seemed more interested in the ship docked in the distance of San Francisco Bay rather than how many points Omar Samhan had or hadn't scored.

McCarthy and his wife, Valerie, went to the school and got married in the campus chapel. He recently visited the tent on the chapel's lawn to pick up some Sweet 16 gear.

Ian Tongol, a 2006 grad, made a stop there as well earlier today and came to party with a shirt that still had the hologram sticker on it.

With time winding down, the former GaelForce member leaned back in a chair to survey the crush of Saint Mary's supporters who came with their "God is a Gael" shirts, Australian flags and SMC stenciled onto their faces.

To see some old friends and the community come alive was nice. And the long drive into the City to watch a horror show on television?

"Well worth it even with the score," Tongol said. "It took us 51 years to get here. I don't know if we'll ever be in this situation again in our lifetime."