Jan. 10, 2007
Malibu, Calif. - Following a 42-21 season in which it advanced to the championship game of the Malibu Regional and returning 19 letterwinners from last year's squad, the Pepperdine baseball team has been picked to win the West Coast Conference (WCC) title in 2007, according to the conference's coaches, it was announced on Wednesday.
The Waves, three-time defending WCC Champions, received six of eight first-place votes and totaled 47 points to finish ahead of San Diego and San Francisco, who tied for second with 41 points and each received one first-place vote.
In 2006, Pepperdine and San Francisco tied for the regular-season title with 15-6 conference marks before the Waves defeated the Dons in the WCC Championship Series to capture the league crown and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Loyola Marymount was fourth in the preseason poll with 28 points, while Gonzaga (25) was fifth, Santa Clara (19) sixth, Saint Mary's (16) seventh and Portland (8) eighth.
Entering the 2007 campaign, Pepperdine has been tabbed No. 19 by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and Rivals.com.
The Waves' 2007 roster is highlighted by the return of the West Coast Conference's (WCC) "Co-Pitcher of the Year" (Barry Enright), junior shortstop Danny Worth, junior center fielder Adrian Ortiz, sophomore third baseman Chase d'Arnaud and sophomore reliever Brett Hunter, all of whom earned WCC recognition a year ago.
Enright enters his junior season as a 2007 preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NBCWA) and Collegiate Baseball, and is on the preseason Watch Lists for the Brooks Wallace Award (Player of the Year) and Roger Clemens Award (Pitcher of the Year).
Enright is coming off a sophomore campaign in which he went 13-2 and posted a 4.05 ERA in 21 appearances en route to tying for third in the nation in victories. He enters 2007 with a 23-3 career record and ranks 12th on Pepperdine's all-time career wins list.
Hunter, who tabbed a preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball, played a pivotal role for Pepperdine during his rookie season a year ago as he went 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 11 saves while making 29 appearances as the Waves' closer. He tied for 22nd in the nation in saves and was tabbed a Freshman All-American, named first team All-WCC and selected to the conference's all-freshman team. He is also on the Roger Clemens Award Preseason Watch List.
Worth received honorable mention All-WCC after batting .303 with three home runs and 37 RBI. d'Arnaud earned Freshman All-American honors and was tabbed first team all-conference after batting .282 with two home runs and 22 RBI while Ortiz was a second-team All-WCC pick after batting .340 with one home run and 28 RBI.
Pepperdine opens its 2007 season on February 3 when it travels to Las Vegas to open a three-game series against UNLV.
2007 WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Pepperdine - 47 (6)
2. San Diego - 41 (1)
San Francisco - 41 (1)
4. Loyola Marymount - 28
5. Gonzaga - 25
6. Santa Clara - 19
7. Saint Mary's - 16
8. Portland - 8