April 27, 2007
San Diego, Calif. - In a match-up of the West Coast Conference's (WCC) top two teams, the tone was set at the outset by San Diego starter Brian Matusz, the nation's strikeout leader. Matusz recorded the first eight outs via the strikeout and finished with 11 as No. 16 San Diego defeated No. 12 Pepperdine 10-3 in the opener of the three-game series Friday afternoon in San Diego.
The win propelled San Diego into sole possession of first place with a 33-14 overall record and an 11-2 mark in the WCC. Meanwhile, the Waves fell into second place with a 30-14 record and are 10-3 in conference action. With Gonzaga's (26-20, 9-4) loss at San Francisco, Pepperdine is alone in second place.
Matusz' (9-2) stellar pitching combined with outstanding defense by the Toreros proved to be the winning formula against Pepperdine and junior All-American Barry Enright (10-2), who endured his shortest outing of the season and suffered his first career WCC loss after registering 17 straight wins.
In four-plus innings, Enright allowed eight hits, four runs, walked one and struck out one. After working out of a first-inning jam, the Waves' right hander got into immediate trouble in the second inning.
Josh Romanski and Sean Nicol hit back-to-back singles to begin the inning and were sacrificed to second and third by Kevin Hansen. Romanski scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Mike Metzger, and Justin Snyder made it 2-0 with an RBI single to left field.
The Waves looked to be in position to tie the game in the top half of the third as they loaded the bases with no outs. However, Matusz struck out the next two batters and escaped the jam after Romanski made a diving catch in left-center field on a liner hit by sophomore designated hitter Eric Thames that would have at least tied the game and possibly given Pepperdine the lead.
With the score 2-0 in the third, the Waves threatened once again as the first two batters reached base. However, a failed sacrifice and two base running mistakes ended the scoring opportunity and turned the momentum back in San Diego's favor.
The Toreros added a run in the fourth and broke the game open with a three-run fifth as they went ahead 6-0. Shane Buschini's high and deep home run over the right field fence highlighted the inning and ended Enright's afternoon.
Sophomore second baseman Denny Duron and senior left fielder Luke Salas had two hits apiece to lead the Waves while freshman catcher Travis Tartamella powered a two-run home in the ninth inning that ended Matusz' day.
The San Diego sophomore left-hander worked 8.2 innings, allowed 10 hits, three runs, walked one and struck out 11.
Pepperdine and San Diego continue their three-game series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest at Cunningham Stadium.