MALIBU, Calif. – The Saint Mary’s baseball raced out of the blocks scoring seven runs on six hits in the first inning, and held on from there defeating Pepperdine 14-7 in the 2011 season finale at Eddy D. Field. With the win the Gaels pitching staff ended a season-long forgone conclusion, shattering the team record for ERA in a single season, finishing the year with a 3.37 ERA, breaking the previous best of 4.58 set in 2006.
“We were very pleased with how we finished the season,” said head coach Jedd Soto. “Our guys set a goal for wins, and we were very close to reaching that, battling every day to the very last pitch. I am very proud of seniors for the leadership and dedication they have given this program over the last four years. Bottom line, we set out a goal at the end of the year and our guys did an incredible job trying to accomplish that.”
In the top of the first inning Saint Mary’s (27-28/9-12 WCC) turned the tables on the Waves, scoring seven runs on six hits. SMC scored three runs before Pepperdine could record an out. Richard Boas led off the inning reaching on an error by the second baseman. A double by Brenden Kalfus to left center on a 2-1 pitch put the Gaels on the board and started the scoring spree. SMC scored six more runs on the inning, coming on RBI base hits by Troy Channing, Donald Collins, Boas and Kalfus again.
Pepperdine (22-34/7-14 WCC) needed two pitchers to get out of the first, as starter Jordan Durrance (0-1) could not record an out, surrendering three hits, five runs, four earned, with a walk. Kevan Inman took the ball for the Waves in relief, finishing the first but still allowed three hits, two earned with a walk.
SMC’s starter Martin Agosta (7-6) cruised through two innings before giving up the first of five charged runs, on an RBI double to Joe Sever in the third. Agosta earned his 10th career victory going 6.0 complete, allowing seven hits, five runs, with two walks and five strike outs. Agosta finishes an impressive sophomore season with a career best seven wins, and a 2.81 ERA, he is the first Gaels starter to finish with a sub 3.00 ERA with at least 80 innings pitched since 1987.
The offensive fireworks were not finished in the first. SMC pounded out six more runs on five hits. The Gaels batted around for the second time, starting with Fazio who walked twice in the inning. In the third the Gaels sent up 10 batters in the inning, recording the six runs on five hits and four walks.
For the day 10 different SMC hitters tallied a base hit, with Boas, Kalfus, Wisdom, Donald Collins, and Toby DeMello recording multiple hits. Collins finished the season on an extreme high-note going 3-for-3 today with an RBI and a run scored. For the series Collins went 7-for-10 with three RBI and two runs scored. He raised his average 31 points this weekend, to finish the year hitting .230.
Senior Dorsey Ek took the ball for the Gaels in the bottom of the seventh, making his last appearance as a Gael. The senior threw two scoreless innings, scattering a pair of hits and walks, while striking out three. Ben Griset took the ball in the ninth, issuing three runs and two hits but got the final three outs to wrap up the win.
With the win on Saturday, the Gaels lock up their first series victory over the Waves since the Gaels took 2-of-3 at home in 1992. The last time SMC took the series from Pepperdine in Malibu was in 1971. Saint Mary’s returns to action Friday, February 17, 2012 when the Gaels will play San Jose State in their new stadium.