May 13, 2006
Moraga, Calif. - Sophomore shortstop Danny Worth highlighted a five-run eighth inning and freshman right hander Brett Hunter recorded the final two outs for his second save in as many days to help No. 20 Pepperdine defeat Saint Mary's 12-9 Saturday afternoon at Louis Guisto Field and clinch a berth in the West Coast Conference (WCC) Championship Series in two weeks.
The Waves (35-18, 14-6) can clinch at least a share of the WCC title with a victory on Sunday and the out-right championship and home-field advantage in the conference championship series with a win and San Francisco loss. Pepperdine and San Francisco are tied atop the WCC standings with the Dons holding the tie-breaker in the race for home-field advantage.
Saint Mary's fell to 26-24 on the season and 9-11 in WCC play.
With the scored tied 7-7 in the eighth inning, Pepperdine sent eight batters to the plate scoring five times to break the game open against Saint Mary's reliever Dan Lewis (5-3).
With one out, senior second baseman David Uribes singled up the middle and scored on a triple down the right field line by sophomore center fielder Adrian Ortiz that gave the Waves an 8-7 lead. Sophomore catcher Chad Tracy followed with an RBI double and after sophomore right fielder Donald Brown worked a two-out walk, Worth hit a three-run home run to give Pepperdine a 12-7 lead.
Saint Mary's staged a threat in the bottom of the ninth inning, plating one run and loading the bases with one out before Hunter came on to record the final two outs and register his ninth save of the season.
Pepperdine was forced to rally late in the game after surrendering a three-run lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the top half of the inning, freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnaud highlighted a four-run inning with a three-run home run, the first of his career, to give the Waves a 7-4 lead.
Sophomore right hander Brian Ozols pitched two innings of relief to pick up his first career victory.
Uribes had three hits to lead the Waves while Worth and two hits and a team-high three RBI. Ortiz, Tracy and Brown also collected two hits apiece.