Saint Mary's - 3-0 vs Southern Utah, 1-0 at Sacramento State
The Gaels haven't exactly played a killer early season schedule but are off to a nice 4-0 start. They are my sleeper pick to contend for the WCC title mostly because I love their weekend rotation and they have legitimate power in their line-up, from both sides of the plate.
The Gaels opened up their new on-campus field this past weekend so things are very exciting in Moraga. They have made my love of their staff look good with wins by scores of 2-1, 9-2, 2-1, and 7-2. That is a composite score of 20-6 in four games. The fact that they didn't score more against Southern Utah is a little concerning to me as I don't think SUU is known as a particularly stingy pitching staff, but wins are wins.
As a team they are hitting .286 and that is fine, but again, I am going to dampen the enthusiasm a bit because of the caliber of pitching they have faced. Brenden Kalfus and Patrick Wisdom, two of their top offensive players have struggled so far but senior 1B Troy Channing has three doubles, five RBI and is hitting .412. Catcher Toby DeMello is off to a .444 start in his three games and the Gaels leading hitter so far is soph INF Ricky Boas, at .467 and three doubles. Wisdom is only hitting .154 but has walked five times, so the hits will start coming.
Now... let's get to the pitching staff. The Gaels staff has a 0.49 team ERA. Yes, 0.49. Their starters have all gone at least six innings and they seem to have the bullpen already slotted into pretty specific roles. Their starters have shown strikeout stuff, with 28 strikeouts in 26.2 innings. That is great, but the 13 walks are a little too high. Then again, they have only given up 14 hits so they don't get hurt with those walks. I think this staff IS that good.
I am not sure why senior RHP Mark Anderson hasn't pitched yet, as I thought he was part of the weekend rotation. Instead, sophomore LHP Ben Griset is starting and was stellar. Senior RHP Kyle Barraclough and junior RHP Martin Agosta were equally impressive.