May 13, 2007
Malibu, Calif. - Junior Adrian Ortiz' one-out, bases loaded drive into right-center field drove home pinch-runner Matthew Frazee with the winning run and lifted No. 17 Pepperdine to a 4-3, 11-inning victory over Gonzaga Sunday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium in the finale of a three-game West Coast Conference (WCC) series.
Facing the prospects of being swept in a three-game series at home by a conference opponent for the first time in 34 years, the Waves picked up a much-needed victory after dropping the first two games of the series, improving to 32-19 overall, 11-7 in WCC play, and keeping alive their chances of earning an at-large bid to the 64-team NCAA Tournament.
Pepperdine, which was eliminated from contention for the WCC Championship Series on Saturday, let a 3-2 ninth-inning lead slip away for the second time in three days before rallying for a run in the 11th and snapping a three-game losing streak.
Freshman first baseman Ryan Heroy started the Waves winning rally when he walked against Gonzaga starter Brandon Harmon (6-7) with one out. Sophomore Denny Duron followed with a base hit up the middle and freshman catcher Travis Tartamella singled through the left side to load the bases.
Ortiz, who had been struggling at the plate in recent games and was moved from the leadoff spot to ninth in the batting order, drove the first pitch from Harmon into right-center field that scored Frazee, who came in to pinch-run for Heroy after Duron's single.
Gonzaga (32-22, 15-6) rallied to tie the game in the ninth against Pepperdine closer Jason Dominguez (2-3).
Pinch-hitter Mark Castellitto, who was involved in the Bulldogs' winning rally on Friday, opened the ninth with a leadoff single. Evan Wells followed and hit a ground ball to second base that looked as if it might be turned into a double play. However, pinch-runner Alex Parrott avoided Duron's tag attempt near the bag at second base before the Waves' second baseman threw on to first to retire Wells for the first out.
Bryan Winston followed and singled to left-center field to drive in Parrott with the tying run.
Dominguez held Gonzaga scoreless in the 10th and 11th innings, allowing the Waves to win the game.
The Pepperdine junior right hander came on with two on and no outs in the eighth inning and worked out of the jam to maintain the one-run lead. In his four innings of work, Dominguez allowed three hits, a run, walked two and struck out one.
Meanwhile, after allowing three runs in the first three innings, Harmon held the Waves scoreless over the next seven innings.
Pepperdine's best opportunity to add to its 3-2 lead came in the seventh inning when the Waves had runners on first and third with one out. However, Harmon worked out of trouble by getting a strikeout and a ground ball to end the threat.
In 10.1 innings, Harmon allowed 12 hits, four runs, walked four and struck out three while throwing 114 pitches.
Sophomore right hander Brett Hunter started for Pepperdine and pitched 6.2 innings, allowing four hits, two runs, walking four and striking out five. He allowed both runs in the third inning after walking two batters with two outs and then surrendering a two-run double.
After being held to 15 hits in their first two games of the series, the Waves collected 12 hits on Sunday, including three from Ortiz and junior right fielder Donald Brown.
Pepperdine closes out its regular-season home schedule on Tuesday when it hosts nationally-ranked UC Irvine in a key non-conference game at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning at 3 p.m.
The Waves close out the regular season with a three-game WCC series at Portland beginning on Friday.