MORAGA, Calif. – The Saint Mary’s baseball team (14-26, 5-7 West Coast Conference) continues WCC action this week when it hosts Santa Clara (10-28, 0-15 WCC) this weekend. Game times are 3:00 p.m. on Friday and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. All home games take place at Louis Guisto Field on the SMC campus.
Saint Mary’s enters the week just 2.5 games behind second place in the WCC. There is a logjam with four teams with a 9-6 conference record. The race will be interesting in the final weeks as the top four teams qualify for the WCC Tournament on May 23-26 at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton. The winner of the WCC Tournament earns the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Brenden Kalfus continues to lead the WCC in batting average, entering the weekend with a .370 average. Kalfus also has a 22-game hitting streak on the line this weekend. The senior right fielder is one of the few candidates who can prevent USD’s Kris Bryant from winning the WCC triple-crown this season.
If Markus Melgosa continues to start and get at-bats, he too may be in the race for the WCC batting title. Melgosa enters the week right behind Kalfus with a .365 average. Shawn O’Brien is also hitting over .300 with a .318 average. As a team, the Gaels are hitting .268.
Collin Ferguson leads the Gaels in total bases with 64, while DonAndre Clark leads the conference with 17 stolen bases.
On the mound, the Gaels have been led by their three left-handed starting pitchers. Ben Griset is expected to be the Friday starter with a 3-2 record and 2.54 ERA. Jordan Mills (3-3, 2.29 ERA) and Ryan Brockett (3-5, 3.54 ERA) have been the weekend starters for most of the season.
In the bullpen, Patrick Keane has all five of the Gaels’ saves this year. As a staff, SMC sports a 4.53 ERA.
Santa Clara is hitting .249 as a team with a .333 on-base percentage and a .328 slugging percentage. The Broncos have hit 47 doubles, seven triples and 13 home runs while scoring 168 runs and stealing 50 bags in 70 attempts.
Greg Harisis leads Santa Clara in hitting with a .314 (38-121) batting average. He has added eight doubles, one triple, two homers, 19 runs scored, 24 RBI and a team-best 10 stolen bases.
Santa Clara has a team ERA of 5.36 in 335.2 innings. The pitching staff has allowed 388 hits and 137 walks while striking out 206. Opponents are hitting .295 off of Bronco pitchers.
Last season Saint Mary’s won 2-of-3 at Santa Clara.