April 22, 2006
Malibu, Calif. - Sophomore right hander Barry Aright allowed one earned run over eight innings and received some clutch ninth-inning relief help from freshman right hander Brett Hunter as Pepperdine defeated No. 25 San Diego 4-2 Saturday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium to even the West Coast Conference (WCC) series at a game apiece.
The Waves (26-16, 6-5) moved to within a game of the Toreros (25-16, 7-4) and San Francisco (25-17, 7-4) in the WCC standings and are currently in third place. Pepperdine will go in search of its second straight series win when it hosts San Diego in the rubber game of the series on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.
Aright (8-1) continued his strong pitching this season as he scattered eight hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck two in eight-plus innings of work, improving his record against ranked opponents this year to 5-0.
After the Toreros scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth inning to take a 1-0 lead, the Waves rallied for three runs in the bottom half the frame to take a 3-1 lead against San Diego right hander Matt Couch (5-2).
Sophomore shortstop Danny Worth opened the inning with a double to right-center field and advanced to third on an infield out. Junior left fielder Luke Salas then walked to put runners at the corners.
Junior catcher Justin Tellam then doubled to the wall in left-center field to score Worth with the tying run as Salas advanced to third. Senior second baseman David Uribes gave the Waves a 2-1 lead with a single to left field that scored Salas and advanced Tellam to third base.
Sophomore center fielder Adrian Ortiz brought home the inning's final run with a sacrifice fly to center field, giving the Waves a 3-1 lead.
San Diego made it a one-run game in the sixth on a single to center field that scored Shane Buschini, who had doubled with two outs.
The Waves got that run back in the bottom half of the frame when senior first baseman Nick Kliebert doubled to leadoff the inning, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore right fielder Donald Brown and scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnaud.
San Diego mounted a threat in the ninth inning as Buschini legged out an infield hit that deflected off the glove of Aright and to Uribes at second base, whose throw to first base was not in time.
Hunter came on in relief of Aright and allowed a single to Steve Singleton that put runners on first and second with no outs. Ryan Lilly followed, and after showing bunt on the first pitch, hit into a double play on a 3-1 count as Singleton moved to third.
Designated hitter Josh Romanski came up next and hit a soft chopper up the third baseline that d'Arnaud fielded and threw to first base. The ball and Romanski reached the bag at the same time and got away from Kliebert for what appeared to be an error, allowing Romanski to reach safely and Singleton to score from third.
However, Romanski was called out for interference as he was running inside the baseline for the third out of the inning that ended the game and marked Hunter's seventh save of the season.