–The Saint Mary’s baseball team (19-29, 9-9 West Coast Conference) heads to Pepperdine (23-21, 9-9 WCC) for a three game set on May 10-12 in Malibu. The Gaels and Waves are tied for fifth-place in the WCC, with the top four teams in the conference earning spots in the WCC Tournament. Both teams enter the week just one game behind the fourth spot.
Saint Mary’s has won two straight games, defeating San Diego on Sunday, then winning a Tuesday game at Nevada by a 5-2 score.
The Gaels have gone with the same starting pitchers in each WCC series this year with Ben Griset (4-2, 3.01 ERA) on Friday, Jordan Mills (4-3, 2.01 ERA) on Saturday and Ryan Brockett (4-5, 3.77 ERA) on Sunday. The trio has combined for six complete games, including a no-hitter tossed by Brockett.
In the bullpen, the Gaels feature Patrick Keane who leads SMC with seven saves. Keane is also the all-time career saves leader in Gaels history with 18.
Offensively, the Gaels lead the WCC in batting average (WCC games only), hitting at a .303 clip in conference. In all games, the Gaels are hitting .277, led by conference leader Brenden Kalfus at .392. Kalfus enters the weekend with a WCC record, 30-game hitting streak. He tied the record on Sunday against San Diego and broke the record on Tuesday with a hit at Nevada. Kalfus has a hit in every game since March 16.
Markus Melgosa is also hitting over .300 at a .331 clip. Collin Ferguson has been one of SMC’s hottest hitters, with a .280 average and a team-high 78 total bases. Anthony Villa has had a strong freshman year, hitting at a .280 clip and is third on the team with 60 total bases. DonAndre Clark leads the WCC with 20 stolen bases.
Pepperdine enters the weekend having lost four straight games including getting swept at San Francisco and dropping a Tuesday game at home against Long Beach State.
The Waves have a team ERA of 3.58, led by Jackson McClelland with a 1.64 ERA. McClelland has primarily been used out of the bullpen, but has made four starts. Expect the Waves to call on any of their four starting pitchers in Corey Miller (4-5, 2.85), Aaron Brown (5-2, 4.18), Scott Frazier (3-5, 4.70) and Matt Maurer (2-4, 5.11).
Pepperdine has four hitters hitting over .300. Nate Johnson has a .325 average in only 12 games. Kolten Yamaguchi is hitting .315, followed by Austin Davidson at .314 and Ranny Lowe at .311. The Waves do hit the long ball, having hit 28 home runs this season. Chris Amezquita leads the way with seven round-trippers.
After this weekend, the Gaels head to Provo for their final WCC series of the year on May 16-18.