May 28, 2006
San Francisco, Calif. - Freshman second baseman Denny Duron collected a career-high four hits to lead a 17-hit attack as No. 20 Pepperdine defeated No. 23 San Francisco, 9-4, in the decisive Game 3 of the West Coast Conference (WCC) Championship Series Sunday afternoon to claim the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
The Waves (40-19), who claimed their 17th WCC title, will be making their 23rd NCAA Tournament and hosting a regional for the first time.
San Francisco fell to 38-21 on the season will watch Monday's announcement of the 64-team field to see if it receives an at-large berth to the 64-team field. The field will be announced live by ESPN beginning at 9:30 a.m.
As it did in the previous two games of the series, Pepperdine jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the second inning. Senior first baseman Nick Kliebert doubled to right center field and came around to score on a single to right field by sophomore right fielder Donald Brown.
After freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnaud reached on fielder's choice, Duron and Aidem followed with back-to-back singles to give the Waves a 2-0 lead.
Pepperdine broke the game open in the third inning as it sent nine batters to plate and scored five times against San Francisco starter Patrick McGuigan (12-3).
Sophomore Danny Worth started the outburst with an infield single and the next three batters reached base via a pair walks and a hit batsman that forced home a run. d'Arnaud drove in a run with a sacrifice fly ahead of a bunt single by junior left fielder Luke Salas, single by Duron and a two-run double down the left-field line by sophomore designated hitter Matt Aidem.
Back-to-Back two-out doubles in the sixth inning by Brown and d'Arnaud produced a run and d'Arnaud capped the scoring with a home run to left-center field in the ninth to give the Waves a 9-3 lead.
Senior right hander James Johnson started for Pepperdine and pitched 4.1 innings, allowed seven hits, three runs, walked one and struck out three.
Sophomore right hander Jason Dominguez relieved Johnson with two on and one out in the fifth a needed just one pitch to get an inning-ending double play. In 2.2 innings, Johnson allowed three hits, walked one and struck out two.
Freshman right hander Brett Hunter pitched the final two innings, allowed two hits, an unearned run and struck out two to close out the game.
The series win was the third in a row for Pepperdine and fourth in the last six years. The Waves have appeared in all eight WCC Championships and have a 4-4 series record.