April 28, 2006
Malibu, Calif. - Senior left-hander Paul Coleman struck out 12 batters in seven innings and then had to sit anxiously in the dugout through a six-run ninth inning as No. 28 Pepperdine held on to defeat Portland 8-7 in the opener of a three-game West Coast Conference (WCC) series Friday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
The Pilots (13-28, 2-11) rallied for six runs in the top of the ninth against Waves freshman right hander Bryce Stowell before sophomore Brian Ozols came on to throw one pitch and record his first save of the season. The victory improved Pepperdine to 28-16 overall, 8-5 in WCC play and at the worst kept the Waves one-game behind first-place Saint Mary's, which plays at Santa Clara tonight.
During his seven innings of work, Coleman (6-4) was dominant as he allowed one run, three hits and walked one. His 12 strikeouts gave him 252 for his career and moved him into sixth place on Pepperdine's all-time strikeout list.
The senior left-hander was backed by a pair of four-run innings as the Waves scored all their runs in the third and sixth innings against Portland starter Blaine Hardy (2-3).
After retiring the first batter of the third inning, Hardy gave up three consecutive singles to Luke Salas, David Uribes and Adrian Ortiz. Junior catcher Chad Tracy followed and delivered the big hit of the inning as he doubled to the left-centerfield gap to drive home a pair of runs and give Pepperdine a 2-0 lead.
The Waves scored another run on a wild pitch and senior first baseman Nick Kliebert hit a two-out single to complete the scoring and up the lead to 4-0.
Portland scored its only run against Coleman in the fifth inning as Sean Nicol singled with two outs to drive in a run after the Pilots got a pair of runners aboard via a hit-batsman and walk.
Ortiz had the key hit in the four-run sixth as he singled home two runs with a base hit through the middle that gave the Waves a 7-1 lead. Junior designated hitter Justin Tellam led off the frame with a home run to left field and Kliebert capped the scoring with a two-out single.
After retiring the leadoff man to begin the ninth inning, Stowell surrendered four consecutive singles to right field that produced a run. He struck out Nicol for the second out before walking home a run and giving up a grand slam to Danny Meyer that made it a one-run game.
Following graduation ceremonies Saturday morning, Pepperdine will meet Portland in Game 2 of the series as the Waves look to give head coach Steve Rodriguez his 100th coaching victory and a series win beginning at 3 p.m.