MALIBU — Fresh off a rousing seven-run victory over USC, Pepperdine lapsed into the anemic offensive doldrums Friday that have become all too familiar.
The Waves might not have iron-poor blood, but they appeared to have aluminum-poor bats in a 4-2 loss to St. Mary's in a West Coast Conference game at Pepperdine.
Brian Hedley (2-5), who had allowed 40 runs in 41 innings entering the game, resembled Greg Maddux against the Waves. Hedley halted a personal four-game losing streak, working 8 1/3 innings before being ejected for arguing a call at home plate.
No problem. Reliever Jake Smith brought his 6.39 earned-run average to the mound and promptly disposed of two Pepperdine hitters to hand the Waves (18-12) their first conference loss after eight victories. This was the WCC opener for St. Mary's (5-14).
The lack of offense spoiled a solid, if not vintage, performance by sophomore left-hander Randy Wolf (4-2), who pitched a complete game, striking out nine and walking one.
The Gaels did a good job of taking Wolf's offerings to the opposite field, scoring three runs in the fifth on four hits, including a double by Gabe Williams. St. Mary's added a run in the eighth and finished with eight hits.
"They were looking to go to right field the whole game," Wolf said. "In the fifth I got away from my game. I didn't have much room for error."
Pepperdine Coach Pat Harrison was distressed afterward, telling his hitters they tend to let down when Wolf, the team's ace, is pitching. Overall, the Waves are batting .248.
"We came out here knowing Randy was going to pitch and probably shut them down pretty good," Harrison said. "We weren't tough offensively."
Wolf pitched a no-hitter in a 2-0 victory over Gonzaga in his last start and defeated Cal State Fullerton, 1-0, two starts ago. The Gaels' fifth-inning rally ended his scoreless-inning streak at 22 2/3.
In the ninth, Pepperdine finally got on the scoreboard. Rob Reid singled and stole second, and with one out Dennis Twombley was hit by a pitch. Chris Cosbey sliced a double down the left-field line, scoring two runs.
Pedro Loza, running for Twombley, barely beat the throw to the plate, and Hedley and St. Mary's Coach Rod Ingram erupted after the call. Both were ejected.