MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team continues its conference schedule this weekend, traveling to Cunningham Stadium for a three-game West Coast Conference series against No. 19 San Diego. The three game tilt starts on Friday at 3:00 p.m., with games two and three taking place on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
The Gaels enter the series with an overall record of 17-17 (2-7 WCC) after splitting a four game series against Hawaii last weekend. The Gaels are hitting .264 as a team, and averaging 4.23 runs per game. However, it looks as though the Gaels will have to get it done at the plate without slugger Troy Channing for a while who is nursing an injured hand. Junior right fielder Brenden Kalfus is doing his part to pick up the slack, going 5-for-16 with two doubles and a home run in the Hawaii series. Kalfus also scored three runs and drove in five. In the extra innings game against the Rainbows on Sunday, he smashed a three run double that put the Gaels out front for good.
On the mound, the Gaels rank 11th in the nation in earned run average. SMC currently boasts a team ERA of 2.76 which is third in the West Coast Conference. The Gaels are well on their way to breaking the record for team ERA for the second-straight season. SMC currently has six pitchers with an ERA south of 3.00, with Ryan Brockett leading the team with a 1.21 ERA. Brockett is having a breakthrough year for the Gaels. In 29.2 innings pitched he has struck out 32 and only allowed four earned runs.
The Gaels weekend rotation of Martin Agosta (5-2, 1.88 ERA), Kyle Barraclough (1-5, 3.23 ERA) and Ben Griset (2-4, 3.68 ERA) have a combined ERA of 2.79 and an 8.34 k/9 ratio. On Friday, Agosta takes the ball for the Gaels looking for his 16th career win which would make him tied for eighth all-time at SMC. Barraclough takes the ball on Saturday, he is currently third all-time with 266 strike outs, 14 shy of tying Tom Candiotti for second all-time. Ben Griset makes his eight start of the season, the fifth as a weekend starter, he has already thrown a career-best 44.0 innings with a career best 37 strike outs.
San Diego enters this weekend's contest ranked No. 19 in the nation according to Baseball American. They are currently sporting an overall record of 29-8 and have won six straight and eight of their last 10 games. At Cunningham Stadium, the Toreros are 16-3 in 2012. As a team, they are hitting .313 which is tops in the conference, they average 6.32 runs per contest. Leading the team at the dish is sophomore third baseman Kris Bryant who is hitting .370 with nine doubles and a conference leading nine home runs. On the mound USD boasts a staff ERA of 2.84. All three starting pitchers for San Diego sport an ERA south of 3.00. Leading the team is Paul Sewald with a 2.24 ERA; in 52.1 innings pitched he has allowed just 123 earned runs while striking out a team leading 48 batters.
Friday's contest will mark the 110th time these two teams have faced each other since 1968. The Toreros own a 65-44 advantage in the series, the last time these two teams faced each other USD came away with the 7-3 win at Louis Guisto Field on May 1, 2011.
Friday's contest begins at 3:00 p.m. while Saturday and Sunday will start at 1:00 p.m. All three games will feature live statistics and can be accessed on the baseball schedule page at www.SMCGaels.com. There will also be live video that can be viewed through the baseball schedule page.