MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's baseball team could not get that clutch hit that has propelled it to their hot start as they fell to No. 2 Stanford 5-0 Tuesday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field. The Gaels managed five hits but left 10 on base in the loss to the Cardinal.
Ben Griset (1-1) took the ball for the Gaels to start the game and from the beginning he was in a battle against the second ranked team in the nation. Griset had several two strike counts but the Cardinal was able to fight off the strike out pitch and eventually worked walks or got a hit.
In the top of the first before the fans had a chance to get seated Stanford (11-1) scored a pair. The Cardinal's Jake Stewart led off the game with a base hit into left field. Back-to-back walks to Lonnie Kauppila and Stephen Piscotty loaded the bases for Stanford. After a line out to short, the Cardinal plated a pair of runs when Kenny Diekroeger singled to right field scoring Stewart and Kauppila. Griset got out of the jam getting a pop up and a ground out to end the inning.
Saint Mary's (8-5) had their chances in the early going. In the bottom of the first and second inning the Gaels had a runner at third but couldn't get the hit needed to tie the game up. In the first inning Ricky Boas reached by way of an error and moved over to third on a grounder to second and a stolen base.
In the bottom of the second Collin Ferguson continued his hot hitting, leading off the inning with a double to left center field. He moved over to third when Chris Murphy ground out to first, Toby DeMello walked to put runners at the corners, where they would stay when Donald Collins put a shot in the ball right to Stanford's right fielder to end the inning.
The Cardinal put the game away in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs that were aided by a costly error on Boas. Piscotty led off the inning with single down the right field line, Brian Ragira hit into a tailor made 6-4-3 double play but after fielding the ball Boas made an errant throw to first that allowed both runners to advance an extra base. Diekroeger singled to left field that scored Piscotty, after a walk the bases were loaded and that would be it for Griset.
The Gaels turned the ball over to Ryan Brockett; unfortunately, Brockett surrendered a single to Austin Wilson that plated a pair of runs to put Stanford up 5-0. Brockett got out of the jam and pitched three more innings in a strong relief effort. For the afternoon Brockett, went four complete, allowing five hits, no runs, no walks while striking out three.
Griset pitched four complete, allowing six hits five runs, four earned, with four walks and three strike outs. Tanner Kichler pitched a scoreless top of the ninth, working around a walk and a base hit.
Boas went 2-for-5 for Saint Mary's to go along with the stolen base, his fifth of the year, which leads the team. Ferguson went 2-for-4 with a double and a single, and DonAndre Clark beat out an infield hit for the Gaels final hit of the day.
Earning the win for Stanford was AJ Vanegas (1-0) who pitched five complete, scattering three hits with three walks and five strike outs.
Saint Mary's returns to action on Friday, March 9 at 2:00 p.m. when SMC travels to San Diego, Calif. for a three game series against San Diego State.