MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball received a tremendous pitching performance from starter Ben Griset, however, Griset was out dueled by Pepperdine's starter Jon Moscot who was one out shy of throwing a no-hitter, as the Waves defeated the Gaels 7-1 to open the series Thursday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field.
The two pitchers looked very sharp early as Griset (2-3) struck out five through two innings. Moscot (4-3) countered retiring the first 17 batters he faced.
By the top of the third, Griset had already struck out six batters. Pepperdine (18-12/2-2 WCC) had the first batter reach in the game when Bryan Langlois reached on an error by the Gaels. Griset attempted to pitch around the error, getting a strike out before surrendering the first hit of the game, a double by the Waves' Zach Vincej. Both runners came around to score unearned runs on a sacrifice fly to center field by Miles Silverstein and a double by Joe Sever.
Saint Mary's (14-14/1-6 WCC) had its first base runner reach in the bottom of the sixth, after retiring 17 in a row, Moscot hit Ricky Boas on the foot on an 1-0 pitch. Moscot went on to retire Donald Collins by way of a lazy fly ball to center field.
Pepperdine added to their lead in the top of the sixth inning, Matt Forgatch singled to third base with two outs and was followed by Austin Davidson who sent a ball over the right field fence on a 1-1 breaking ball. The ball was caught by the wind blowing out to right field, giving Davidson his second home run of the year.
In the top of the seventh inning Griset got back-to-back batters to strike out looking to begin the frame. But another Gaels' error and a hit batter with a 1-2 count ended the day for Griset who pitched 6.2 innings, allowing seven hits, six runs, two earned, with one walk and a career-high 11 strike outs, five of them looking. Griset threw 116 pitches, 81 of them for strikes.
Jordan Mills game into the game for the Gaels and allowed the fifth run of the game to score by way of a balk. Before the inning was over the Waves rallied for three runs on two hits with an error.
Moscot continued to keep the Gaels off the base paths; he allowed a leadoff walk to Cole Norton in the bottom of the seventh but the retired the next seven batters before Collins reached in the bottom of the ninth with one out on an error by the Waves' first baseman. Channing then recorded the Gaels first hit of the game with a single down the left field line. Collins came around to score from second to end the shutout attempt by Moscot, Channing was thrown at second attempting to move up 90 feet to end the game.
Moscot's line for the afternoon 9.0 innings pitched, one hit, on unearned run, with one walk and 10 strike outs.
The Gaels and Waves will resume the series tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., at Louis Guisto Field. SMC will send RHP Martin Agosta (4-1, 1.56 ERA) to the mound, he will face RHP Scott Frazier (3-3, 3.09 ERA).