Feb. 2, 2007
Las Vegas, Nev. - Junior right hander Barry Enright lived up to his preseason billing and sophomore designated hitter Eric Thames made an impressive debut as they helped Pepperdine to a 4-3 season-opening victory over UNLV Friday night at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas.
Enright, who was tabbed a preseason All-American and named to the watch lists for the Roger Clemens Award (top pitcher) and Brooks Wallace Award (top player), was in mid-season form against the Rebels (1-3) as he worked seven innings, allowed three hits, an unearned run, struck out five and did not walk a batter in improving his career record to 24-3 and moving within one victory of 10th place on Pepperdine's all-time wins list.
Thames, a transfer from West Valley Junior College, doubled, tripled and drove in three runs in his first game for Pepperdine (1-0).
The Waves jumped on UNLV starter Craig Heyer (1-1) right away as junior center fielder Adrian Ortiz opened the game with a triple and, after a lineout, scored on a triple by Thames.
The score remained 1-0 until the fifth inning when Pepperdine scored three times to take a 4-0 lead. Ortiz led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Danny Worth and a throwing error. Both runners came around to score on a double by Thames.
Sophomore third baseman Chase d'Arnaud followed with a single through the right side advancing Thames to third. One out later, Thames scored the final run of the inning on an infield out off the bat of junior first baseman Matt Aidem.
Enright held the Rebels scoreless through the first 4.2 innings before allowing an unearned run in the bottom half of the fifth.
UNLV cut the deficit to 4-3 in the eighth against Pepperdine sophomore closer Brett Hunter. The Waves' right hander surrendered a single and walk to the first two batters he faced before allowing a two-run double to Michael Brenly.
Hunter then struck out four of the next seven batters he faced to record his first save of the season and 12th of his career. The save moved him into a tie with Derek Wallace (1990-92) and Greg Reece (1970-72) for sixth place on Pepperdine's all-time saves list.
The victory marked the Waves' seventh straight season-opening win and improved their all-time record in openers to 36-16-1 dating back to 1954.
Pepperdine and UNLV will play Game 2 of the series Saturday at 2 p.m.