Feb. 1, 2007
Malibu, Calif. -
THIS WEEK: The nationally-ranked Pepperdine baseball team opens its 2007 season this weekend when it travels to Las Vegas to face UNLV in a three-game series beginning Friday at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.
The series opens with a 6:30 p.m. contest on Friday and continues with a 2 p.m. start on Saturday and concludes with a 1 p.m. game on Sunday.
WAVES ON THE INTERNET: A total of 44 regular-season games will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.PepperdineSports.com with live video webcasts for home games. Gametracker also will be available at www.PepperdineSports.com.
NATIONAL POLLS: Pepperdine enters the 2007 ranked in all the major college baseball polls. The Waves are ranked No. 19 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball and No. 20 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and USA Today/ESPN polls.
A LOOK BACK: For the fourth straight season, the Pepperdine baseball team advanced to an NCAA regional and for the first time in program history, the Waves were selected to host a regional.
After winning its third consecutive West Coast Conference (WCC) title, Pepperdine earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships and were the No. 1 seed at the Malibu Regional.
The Waves opened regional play with back-to-back victories over Missouri and UCLA before falling in the championship game to the Tigers.
The loss marked the third consecutive year that Pepperdine was one win away from advancing to its first-ever Super Regional. In 2004, the Waves lost to eventual College World Series winner Cal State Fullerton and fell to USC in the 2005 Long Beach Regional.
Pepperdine concluded 2006 ranked No. 21 by Baseball America, No. 24 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), No. 25 in the USA Today / ESPN Coaches Poll and No. 30 by Collegiate Baseball.
The 41 wins marked the 10th time in program history that Pepperdine has won at least 40 games and represented the 29th consecutive 30-win campaign.
In the first year of a 21-game WCC schedule, Pepperdine posted a 15-6 record to tie San Francisco for the regular-season title. The two teams squared off in the best-of-three championship series at Benedetti Diamond to determine the conference champion and the WCC's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Championships.
After dropping the series opener 7-6, the Waves came back to win the final two games by scores of 11-0 and 9-4.
ABOUT UNLV: UNLV enters this weekend's series against Pepperdine with a 1-2 mark. The Rebels opened their season last weekend with a three-game series at Cal State Northridge and dropped two of three to the Matadors. After winning the opener, 10-4, UNLV lost the final two games of the series by scores of 16-7 and 9-4. Left fielder Blake Gailen had a solid series for the Rebels as he went 4-for-8 with three runs scored and walked five times. Craig Heyer received the opening-day assignment for UNLV and picked a victory after allowing four runs in 6.1 innings. Head coach Buddy Gouldsmith is in the midst of his fourth season leading the Rebels and has compiled an overall record to date of 102-85 (.545).
SERIES VERSUS UNLV: Friday's series-opener will mark the 32nd meeting between Pepperdine and UNLV, and the Waves lead the all-time series 16-15. The two clubs met in a three-game series at Eddy D. Field Stadium a year ago and Pepperdine took two of three.
GAME 1 STARTER: Junior right hander Barry Enright will start Friday's season-opener. Enright begins his junior campaign with a 23-3 career record, 4.30 ERA and a preseason All-American. He also has been named to the 2007 Roger Clemens Award Watch List and Brooks Wallace Award Watch List. Enright was tabbed the West Coast Conference's (WCC) Co-Pitcher of the Year and a first team All-WCC selection after posting a 13-2 record and 4.05 ERA in 2006. Enright will be making his second career start against UNLV on Friday. He pitched Game 2 a year ago and suffered a loss after pitching 4.2 innings, allowing six hits, five runs and striking out two in a 6-3 defeat.
GAME 2 STARTER: Junior right hander Jason Dominguez will start Saturday's game. He made 24 appearances, four as a starter, and posted a 6-1 mark and 3.52 ERA in 2006. Dominguez enters the 2007 season with a career record of 7-6 and a 5.22 ERA.
GAME 3 STARTER: Sophomore left-hander Robert Dickmann, a transfer from UCLA, will make his Pepperdine debut on Sunday. In limited action, Dickmann was 0-0 with a 10.38 ERA while making six relief appearances in 2006.
PEPPERDINE IN SEASON OPENERS: Pepperdine has an all-time record of 35-16-1 in season openers and has won six in a row and eight of its last nine. The Waves recorded a 5-4 victory in last season's opener against UNLV at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
ENRIGHT NAMED TO BROOKS WALLACE AWARD WATCH LIST: Pepperdine junior right handed pitcher Barry Enright was one of 148 players named to the 2007 Brooks Wallace Award Watch List, the College Baseball Foundation announced on Tuesday. The Brooks Wallace Award is presented annually to the national college baseball player of the year. Houston pitcher Brad Lincoln won the award in 2006. Enright brings impressive credentials into the 2007 season after posting a 23-3 record and 4.30 earned-run average in two seasons for the Waves. The Wallace Watch will be trimmed to 12 semi-finalists by late May. Then the selection committee will narrow the list to three finalists following the NCAA Super Regionals, prior to the College World Series. The finalists, their head coaches, and their parents will be invited to Lubbock, TX, for a schedule of special events tied to the award banquet, which will again be nationally televised by Fox Sports Network and Fox College Sports.
TWO WAVES NAMED TO ROGER CLEMENS AWARD WATCH LIST: Pepperdine junior Barry Enright and sophomore Brett Hunter were two of 62 players named to the 2007 Roger Clemens Award preseason watch list for the fourth annual Rogers Clemens Award that goes to college baseball's top pitcher. The finalists for the 2007 Roger Clemens Award will be selected in voting by a national panel that includes: all Division 1 head baseball coaches, a selection of national media who cover collegiate baseball, the 16 winners of the R. E. "Bob" Smith Award, which was presented to the top player in the country in Houston in 1988-2003. In addition, the 10 previous finalists for the Clemens Award are also issued ballots. The 2007 award will be presented at a gala dinner next July.
THREE WAVES NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Junior right hander Barry Enright, sophomore reliever Brett Hunter and junior shortstop Danny Worth were named preseason All-Americans. Enright received All-American recognition by Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) while Hunter and Worth were recognized by the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball, respectively. Enright went 13-2 and posted a 4.05 ERA in 2006 while Hunter put together an outstanding rookie campaign as he went 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 11 saves a year ago. Worth batted a career-best .310 with 24 doubles and 38 RBI as a sophomore in 2006.
COLEMAN RECEIVES JOHN SCOLINOS AWARD: Paul Coleman, who concluded his career tied for second in appearances, was honored with the 2007 John Scolinos Distinguished Player Award following the Pepperdine baseball team's annual alumni game on January 27. The award, in its third year, is given annually to a Pepperdine baseball player in recognition of exemplary behavior during a season or career in the name of the legendary Scolinos, who was Pepperdine's head coach from 1946-1960. The recipient will be honored for demonstrating strong character traits, including humility, resourcefulness, loyalty, honesty, work ethic, Christian behavior and sportsmanship, which contribute to outstanding performance and dedicated efforts both on and beyond the baseball diamond. Cory Brightwell was the first recipient of the award in 2005 and Steve Kleen was the 2006 recipient.
WAVES POST 29TH STRAIGHT 30-WIN SEASON: For the 29th straight season, Pepperdine posted a 30-win season in 2005. The Waves posted a 42-21 overall mark. Dating back to the 1978 season, the Waves have totaled at least 30 wins every year, 40 wins 13 times and posted two-50-win campaigns.
WORTH MOVING UP DOUBLES LIST: Junior shortstop Danny Worth begins his junior campaign with 40 career doubles and is six shy of moving into a tie for 10th place on Pepperdine's career doubles list. Jere Longenecker (1980-83) ranks 10th all-time with 46. Scott Shockey (1986-89) is the all-time leader 60 doubles. Worth totaled 24 doubles in 2006, two shy of the single-season record of 26 set by Dane Sardinha in 1999.
ENRIGHT NEARING TOP 10 IN WINS: Junior Barry Enright enters his junior season with a 23-3 career record and is two wins shy of breaking into Pepperdine's Top 10. Jacob Barrack (2001-04) and Randy Wolf (1995-97) are tied for 10th win 25 career wins.
HUNTER NO. 8 IN CAREER SAVES: In just one season, sophomore Brett Hunter already has cracked Pepperdine's Top 10 in career saves. Hunter posted 11 saves as a freshman last season and is tied with Steve Scanlon (1986-87) for eighth all-time. He is one save shy of tying Derek Wallace (1990-92) and Greg Reece (1970-72) for sixth place.
PEPPERDINE DOMINANT FORCE IN WCC: Since the West Coast Conference (WCC) implemented divisional play in 1999, Pepperdine has been the conference's dominant team, compiling a WCC record of 164-67 (.710) over the last eight-plus seasons, an average of 20.5 wins per season, captured seven divisional crowns, three conference titles and appeared in the WCC Championship Series each year of its existence. Over that same time period, San Diego has the second-best league mark, registering a 131-99-1 (.569) record, claiming two divisional titles and winning two WCC Championship Series.
FIVE WAVES SELECTED IN 2006 MLB DRAFT: For the 32nd consecutive year, Pepperdine had at least one player taken in Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft in 2006. Junior catcher Chad Tracy was chosen in the third round by the Texas Rangers, while senior left-hander Paul Coleman was a 12th round selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Junior Justin Tellam was picked in the 14th round by the Houston Astros, senior first baseman Nick Kliebert was drafted in the 25th round by the San Diego Padres and senior second baseman David Uribes was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 32nd round.
WAVES CAPTURE 16TH WCC CHAMPIONSHIP: Pepperdine captured its 16th West Coast Conference (WCC) title after taking two of three at San Francisco in last year's WCC Championship Series. Pepperdine's 16 conference titles are the most by any of the eight teams in the league. Since the WCC was re-instituted for baseball prior to the 1985 season, the Waves have either won or shared 13 of the last 22 league championships. Additionally, since the WCC began sponsoring a championship series, Pepperdine is the only member to appear in all eight. Last year's WCC title was the Waves' third straight and fourth overall since 1999. Pepperdine also captured the conference title in 2001 when it went 42-18 and finished the year with a national Top 20 ranking. Pepperdine captured back-to-back titles for the first time since winning three straight between 1991 and 1993.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: Since Eddy D. Field Stadium opened in 1973, Pepperdine has been a tough team to beat at home, compiling an overall record to date of 728-280-12 (.720) and registering just one losing season in 33 years. The Waves were 9-12 in the inaugural season of 1973 and since then has produced 32 winning seasons in the last 34 years, including a 23-11 record in 2006. The Waves have had 29 straight winning seasons at home.
WAVES AMONG TOP TEAMS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Since 1979, Pepperdine is the second-winningest program in Southern California, trailing only Cal State Fullerton heading into the 2007 season. The Waves have registered a 1,089-567 (.657) record and made 17 NCAA Tournament appearances during that time. Cal State Fullerton has compiled an overall record of 1,254-526 (.704) and made 23 NCAA appearances. Pepperdine's 17 NCAA Tournament appearances are second behind the Titans.
THE PROGRAM: Entering its 68th season of intercollegiate competition, the Pepperdine baseball program has compiled an all-time mark to date of 1,752-1,222-22 (.587). The Waves have advanced to the NCAA Championships on 23 occasions, and Pepperdine has participated at the College World Series twice--finishing third in 1979 and winning the national title in 1992. Pepperdine has won 30 or more games in each of the last 29 seasons dating back to 1978, and surpassed the 40-win mark on 13 occasions during that time span. Since the West Coast Conference was re-instituted for baseball prior to the 1985 season, Pepperdine has either won or shared 13 of the last 22 league championships. Dating back to the start of the 1985 campaign, Pepperdine has compiled a cumulative record of 855-454-11 (.675), including a 466-159-2 (.745) mark against league opponents.
Steve Rodriguez: Steve Rodriguez, a former collegiate All-American and a member of Pepperdine's 1992 College World Series Championship team, begins his fourth season as the Waves' head coach. Rodriguez was hired on June 18, 2004 after serving as an assistant for four years under Frank Sanchez. In three seasons, Rodriguez has led the Waves to a 113-76 (.598) record, three West Coast Confrence (WCC) titles, three NCAA Regional berths and two national Top 25 rankings. He guided Pepperdine to a 30-32 overall record and into the championship game in 2004 Fullerton Regional Championship game, becoming the fifth head coach in program history to lead his club to post-season play in his rookie season, joining Gary Marks (1963), Dave Gorrie (1979), Andy Lopez (1989) and Pat Harrison (1995). In 2005, the Waves compiled a 41-23 overall record, reached the championship game of the Long Beach Regional and concluded the year ranked No. 23 nationally. A year ago, Rodriguez guided Pepperdine to a 42-21 overall record, a WCC title and an NCAA Regional appearance. The Waves hosted the Malibu Regional and reached the championship game for the third straight year. During Rodriguez' four seasons as an assistant, the Waves compiled an overall record of 145-98 (.597), including an 88-32 mark in WCC play, captured the conference title in 2001 and made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001 and 2003. Rodriguez, who earned All-American honors in 1991 and 1992, became only the third former Pepperdine player to assume the head coaching duties for the Waves in the program's 64-year history. Gary Marks became the first Pepperdine player to pilot the program when he skippered the program from 1963-67. Gail Hopkins, who played at Pepperdine from 1962-64, coached the Waves during the 1968 season. Rodriguez was a fifth-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1992 after helping the Waves' to the national championship and being named the WCC's "Player of the Year." He played professionally for seven years with the Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal Expos organizations. Rodriguez made it to the major league level with the Red Sox and Tigers in 1995. As a sophomore in 1991, Rodriguez batted .419, the second-highest single-season average in school history. His 104 base hits in 1991 are a Pepperdine record, and his .367 career average ranks second all-time in Waves' history.
WAVES AT HOME: Since 1997, the Waves are 205-98 (.676) in games played at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The Waves' all-time home record at Eddy D. Field Stadium, dating back to the start of the 1973 season, currently stands at 728-280-12 (.720). Pepperdine concluded the 2006 season with a 23-11 home mark.
WAVES ON THE ROAD: Since 1997, Waves are 157-139 (.530) in games played on the road. Pepperdine completed the 2006 campaign with a 29-10 road record. The Waves have registered winning road records in seven of the last 10 seasons.
ON THE WEB: For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics on the World Wide Web, please bookmark the following address: http://www.PepperdineSports.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information on the baseball program, or to arrange interviews with players and the coaching staff, please contact Al Barba at the Pepperdine Sports Information Office by calling (310) 506-4455.