May 12, 2006
Moraga, Calif. - The 20th-ranked Pepperdine baseball team moved within one victory of claiming an eighth consecutive West Coast Conference (WCC) Championship Series appearance following a 7-4 win over Saint Mary's in the opener of a three-game series Friday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field in Moraga.
The Waves broke a 4-4 tie with a three-run sixth inning and freshman right hander Brett Hunter pitched a scoreless ninth inning of relief as Pepperdine improved to 34-18 overall and 13-6 in WCC play.
A win over the Gaels (26-23, 9-10) on Saturday will give the Waves no worse than a share of the WCC regular-season title. Pepperdine entered the day tied for first place with San Francisco, one game ahead of San Diego and 2.5 in front of Loyola Marymount, which entered play with six conference games remaining.
San Francisco is tied 4-4 with LMU in the 10th inning while San Diego lost 7-5 to Gonzaga on Friday and was eliminated from the race as a result of losing series to both the Dons and the Waves.
With the score tied 4-4 in the sixth, sophomore right fielder Donald Brown opened the inning with double to right field, advanced to third on a fly out to center field by sophomore Danny Worth and scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by junior left fielder Luke Salas.
Freshman third baseman Chas d'Arnaud then doubled to left-center field and scored on a single to center by sophomore designated hitter Matt Aidem, who advanced to second to second on the throw home. Aidem, scored on a single to right field by senior second baseman David Uribes that capped the inning put the Waves in front 7-4.
Sophomore right hander Barry Enright (11-1) worked 6.1 innings, scattered nine hits, surrendered four runs, struck out six and did not walk a batter before receiving relief help from Byran Minkel and Hunter, who earned his eighth save of the year.
Pepperdine took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Saint Mary's starter Joel Fountain (7-3).
Uribes opened the game with a double down the right field line, advanced to third on a bunt single by sophomore center fielder Adrian Ortiz. Uribes scored and Ortiz moved to second on a passed ball and senior first baseman Nick Kliebert made it 2-0 with a an RBI double to right center field.
Saint Mary's got on the board with a run in the third and, after the Waves scored in the top of the fourth to take a 3-1 lead, the Gaels plated two runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the score.
Both teams scored a run in the fifth before Pepperdine tallied three runs in the sixth to take a 7-4 lead.
In seven innings of work, Fountain allowed nine hits, seven runs (five earned), walked two and struck out two. Five of the nine hits he surrendered were doubles.
Kliebert had two hits and two RBI while Uribes and Brown had two hits apiece. Salas also had a pair of RBI for the Waves.
Pepperdine and Saint Mary's continue their series with a 1 p.m. contest Saturday at Louis Guisto Field.