April 6, 2007
Malibu, Calif. - In a game that had 22 hits, 40 baserunners and eight errors, sophomore designated hitter Eric Thames ended a wild afternoon with a two-out, bases-loaded single to right field in the bottom of the 11th inning that lifted No. 9 Pepperdine to 6-5 victory over Loyola Marymount Friday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
The victory, a season-high tying sixth in a row, clinched the West Coast Conference (WCC) series for the Waves and improved their record to 25-8 overall and 5-0 in conference play. The Lions fell to 13-21-1 on the season and 2-3 in WCC action.
Thames, who was up in the bottom of the ninth with the potential winning run on third base and two outs, came through in the 11th with his second hit of the day after Adrian Ortiz and Danny Worth were intentionally walked to load the bases.
Freshman first baseman Ryan Heroy started Pepperdine's winning rally with a single to left field, his third hit of the game. Senior Joe Evans came on to pinch-run for Heroy, advanced to second on a sacrifice and moved to third on a deep fly ball to center field.
LMU reliever Xavier Esquivel (0-2), who came on to pitch in the eighth inning, then intentionally walked Ortiz and Worth to set the stage for Thames' dramatics and cap a come-from-behind victory after Pepperdine trailed 5-1.
The Lions took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and added two more in the third before the Waves cut the lead to 5-4 with a three-run fifth inning as they sent nine batters to the plate against LMU starter Brad Meyers.
Senior Luke Salas walked to lead off the inning and snap a string of 10 straight batters retired by Meyers. Heroy followed and hit the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a two-run home run that sliced the Lions' lead to 5-3.
With two outs, Ortiz singled to right field and Worth followed with a base hit through the right side putting runners at the corners. Thames then reached on an infield single, plating Ortiz and making it a one-run game.
Pepperdine tied the score with an unearned run in the eighth inning on an RBI single through a drawn-in infield that scored Chase d'Arnaud, who was hit by a pitch and moved around to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Nathan Keadle, who came on in relief of Meyers.
The Waves were able to rally and tie the game with the help of some outstanding relief work by junior Adam Olbrychowski. The Pepperdine right hander entered the game in the third inning with two outs and the bases loaded and retired the first batter he faced to escape further damage.
Olbrychowski went on to pitch 5.1 scoreless innings, allow just one hit, walk two and strike out two.
He was relieved by Jason Dominguez in the ninth after hitting Brian Wilson to open the inning. T.J. Bernardy then laid down a bunt attempting to sacrifice and reached first with a base hit after the ball died on the chalk marking the first baseline. Jeremy LaMell, pinch-running for Wilson, and Bernardy moved to second and third on the play.
Eric Farris was then walked intentionally to load the bases with one out. The Waves were able to get out of the inning when Michael Glomb's bunt was fielded by Dominguez, who turned it into a home-to-first double play and thwarted the Lions' scoring opportunity.
LMU again put the potential go-ahead into scoring position in the 10th and 11th innings, but were unable to produce the big hit. Freshman left-hander Jordan Durrance (1-1) relieved Dominguez in the 11th with two outs and runners at first and second and struck out DeAndre Miller to end the threat.
The Pepperdine bullpen worked 8.1 innings, allowed four hits, walked four, struck out six and worked through four Waves errors while keeping LMU scoreless.
Worth extended his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games, the longest by a Pepperdine player since 2002 when Ty Harper hit in 18 straight games, and Ortiz added three hits to extend his streak of multiple-hit games to eight. During that time, he is batting .568 (12-37) and has scored 10 runs.
Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount conclude their three-game series Saturday with a 1 p.m. contest at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The game will be televised live nationally by CSTV as the Waves go for their first three-game sweep of the Lions since 2003.