Feb. 15, 2007
Malibu, Calif. -
THIS WEEK: The nationally-ranked Pepperdine baseball team will put its four-game winning streak on the line Friday when it hosts Wichita State in the opener of a three-game series at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning at 2 p.m.
The series continues with a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday and concludes with an 11 a.m. game Sunday.
Pepperdine heads into Friday's contest with a 5-2 record and extended its winning streak with an 8-3 victory over No. 21 USC on Tuesday. The Waves collected a season-high 16 hits and received four solid innings of relief pitching from junior Adam Olbrychowski.
Friday marks opening day for Wichita State, which is coming off a 46-22 season in 2006 that included and NCAA Regional berth. The Shockers went 2-2 at the Norman Regional.
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. Veteran announcer Larry Burnett will provide play-by-play for the Waves this season.
NATIONAL POLLS: Pepperdine begins play this week ranked No. 19 by Collegiate Baseball and 23 by Baseball America. Wichita State, which was ranked No. 10 in Baseball America, is currently ranked No. 11 by the publication and No. 18 by Collegiate Baseball.
USC RECAP: Junior shortstop Danny Worth and freshman first baseman Ryan Heroy collected three hits apiece to lead a 16-hit attack and junior right hander Adam Olbrychowski pitched four solid innings of relief to lead Pepperdine to an 8-3 non-conference victory over USC Tuesday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The win was the fourth straight for the Waves. For the third straight game, Pepperdine fell behind before rallying. Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the third, the Waves scored three times to take a 4-2 lead. Junior center fielder Adrian Ortiz opened the inning with a base hit and moved to second on a balk by USC starter Tommy Milone (2-1). Worth followed with a walk and sophomore third baseman Chase d'Arnaud tied the score with a double down the left field line. Freshman designated hitter Mark Tracy then singled to left field to drive in two runs to put the Waves on top, 4-2. Pepperdine added a single run in the fourth and broke the game open with a three-run fifth, highlighted by a run-scoring single from sophomore second baseman Denny Duron and a two-run single from Worth. For the second straight game, eight of the nine starters in the Waves line-up had at least one hit. Tracy and Brown each had two hits to go along with three hits apiece from Worth and Heroy. Working in relief of starter Robert Della Grotta, Olbrychowski came on in the third inning with Pepperdine trailing 2-1 and limited the Trojans to three hits, a run and two walks.
ABOUT WICHITA STATE: Wichita State opens its season against Pepperdine on Friday. The Shockers posted a 46-22 overall record, including a 15-9 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference, and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships after finishing third. Wichita State went 2-2 at the Norman Regional where it was eliminated by the host Sooners. The Shockers return 21 letterwinners, including seven letterwinners, from a year ago. The top six hitters from last year return for Wichita State, including junior infielder Damon Sublett, who batted .394 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI. Sophomore right hander Aaron Shafer, a preseason All-American, returns after an outstanding freshman campaign in which he went 11-3 with a 2.63 ERA while making 16 starts. Head coach Gene Stephenson returns for his 30th season piloting the Shockers and has compiled an overall record of 1,552-511-3 (.752). He holds the highest winning percentage among active Division I head coaches.
SERIES VERSUS WICHITA STATE: Friday's series-opener will mark the third meeting between Pepperdine and Wichita State and the series is tied, 1-1. Both meetings came during the post-season. The Shockers defeated Pepperdine, 12-1, at the NCAA West II Regional in Fresno, while the Waves registered a 6-0 victory in the opener of the 1992 College World Series.
GAME 1 STARTER: Junior right hander Barry Enright will make his third appearance and start of the season on Friday. The junior All-American is 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA. In 14.1 innings, Enright has allowed 10 hits, three runs (two earned), walked two and struck out eight. Enright's last start came on Friday against UC Davis when he earned a victory after pitching 7.1 innings, allowing seven hits, two runs, two walks and three strikeouts. The win improved his career record to 25-3 and moved him into a tie for ninth place on Pepperdine's all-time career wins list. It also marked his 40th career start, tying him with Tony Cameron for 10th place on the Waves' career starts list. Enright began the season as a preseason All-American was 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.
GAME 2 STARTER: Sophomore right hander Brett Hunter will make his fourth appearance and second start of the season on Saturday. He is currently 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA and one save. In 10.0 innings of work, he has allowed 10 hits, five runs (three earned) walked three and struck out a team-high 10 batters. Hunter made his first start of the season on Sunday and earned the victory after logging six innings, allowing four hits, two unearned runs, walking two and striking out five. The sophomore right hander opened the season as the Waves' closer and registered a save in the season-opener at UNLV. Hunter, a preseason All-American, went 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 11 saves a freshman in 2006.
GAME 3 STARTER: Sophomore left-hander Robert Dickmann, a transfer from UCLA, will make his third appearance and start of the season on Saturday. He is 0-0 with a 10.57 ERA while working 7.2 innings. Dickmann's last appearance came on Saturday against UC Davis and received a no-decision and pitching a career-high 4.1 innings, scattering eight, surrendering three runs, two walks and striking out a career-high three batters. Dickmann was 0-0 with a 10.38 ERA while making six relief appearances in 2006.
A LOOK AHEAD: Following Sunday's series finale against Wichita State, Pepperdine will next be in action on Friday, February 23, when it opens a three-game series against Fresno State at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The Bulldogs come into this weekend's action with a 2-6 mark and will host Loyola Marymount in a three-game series beginning Friday.
ENRIGHT NAMED TO COLLEGE BASEBALL FOUNDATION HONOR ROLL: Junior Barry Enright's performance against UC Davis last week earned him a selection to the College Baseball Foundation's Honor Roll. Enright earned his second victory of the season and 25th of his career after pitching 7.1 innings, allowing seven hits, two runs, two walks and three strikeouts.
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 has 43 career doubles and is three 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. He has three thus far in 2007.
WORTH THE IRON MAN: Since making his collegiate debut, February 5, 2005 versus UC Santa Barbara, junior shortstop Danny Worth has played in 133 consecutive games and made 131 consecutive starts dating back to February 12, 2005 when he made his first career start against Cal Poly. His 133 games played are second on the Waves to senior left fielder Luke Salas, who has appeared in 185 games and started 168.
ENRIGHT TIED FOR NINTH ON CAREER WINS LIST: Junior Barry Enright holds a 25-3 career record and is one win shy of tying Patrick Ahearne (1991-92) and Mike Scott (1974-76) for seventh place on Pepperdine's all-time wins list.
MORE ENRIGHT: Junior right hander Barry Enright has made two starts this season to bring his career total to 40 and place him in a tie for 10th place on Pepperdine's all-time career starts list. He is tied with Tony Cameron (1974-77) and is two shy of tying Mike Scott (1974-76) for ninth place.
HUNTER NO. 6 IN CAREER SAVES: Early into his sophomore campaign, Brett Hunter already has cracked Pepperdine's Top 10 in career saves. Hunter posted 11 saves as a freshman last season and with a save in the 2007 season-opener at UNLV is tied with Derek Wallace (1990-92) and Greg Reece (1970-72) for sixth place. His next save will tie him with Steve Montgomery (1990-92) for fifth all-time.
SALAS REACHES 200 HIT PLATEAU: Senior left fielder Luke Salas reached the 200 hit plateau against UC Davis over the weekend. He enters Friday's game against Wichita State with a .307 career average. Salas is 36 hits shy of tying for 10th place on Pepperdine's all-time career hits list. The Westlake Village resident also is six RBI shy of 100 for his career.
ORTIZ MOVES INTO TIE FOR 8TH PLACE ON TRIPLES LIST: With two triples in Pepperdine's season-opening three-game series at UNLV, junior center fielder Adrian Ortiz moved into a tie for eighth place on the Waves' all-time career triples list. His 10 triples tie him with Ted Bridges (1961-64) and Tom Ruegger (1975-78) are one shy of fifth place.
THAMES MAKES IMPRESSIVE PEPPERDINE DEBUT: Sophomore Eric Thames, a transfer from West Valley Junior College in San Jose, has made an impressive first impression in his first season at Pepperdine. The left-handed hitting Thames is batting .692 (9-for-13) with six runs, a double, two triples, four RBI, 1.077 slugging percentage and .789 on-base percentage. Thames has missed the last three games after suffering a wrist injury during last weekend's UC Davis series.
ARMS RACE: Through seven games this season, Pepperdine has used 12 different pitchers, including four newcomers. Sophomore Robert Dickmann, a transfer from UCLA, has made two starts while freshmen Daniel Farris, Jordan Durrance and Jonathan Harmston have all seen work out of the bullpen. Durrance leads the staff with four appearances, all coming in relief.
DOMINGUEZ CLOSES: After starting the second game of the season at UNLV, junior right hander Jason Dominguez has taken over the closer role. He has made two relief appearances and earned a pair of saves, both coming in the first two games of the UC Davis series. Sophomore Brett Hunter, who began the year as the Waves' stopper, has been moved to the starting rotation.
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.
THIRTEEN WAVES NAMED TO WCC 40TH ANNIVERSARY TEAM: Pepperdine placed a conference-high 13 players on the West Coast Conference's (WCC)/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Team that was announced by the league office on Wednesday. The 40-man team was selected by a 30-member voting panel comprised of WCC administrators, league institutions, national collegiate baseball writers and local media members. Those eligible for nomination were student-athletes that participated in the sport of baseball at one of the WCC's eight current member institutions from 1968 to 2006. Also eligible for nomination were student-athletes who participated for any of the five WCC institutions that took part in Northern California Baseball Association (NCBA) and Southern California Baseball Association (SCBA) play from 1977 to 1984. The 13 Pepperdine players named to the team include 10 All-Americans, three Freshman All-Americans, one Academic All-American, five WCC Players of the Year, five conference Pitchers of the Year and three Freshmen of the Year. Additionally, 10 players went on to play Major League Baseball. The list of Waves named to the team consists of Patrick Ahearne, Steve Duda, Mike Fetters, Dan Haren, Rick Hirtensteiner, Mark Lee, Noah Lowry, Steve Montgomery, Steve Rodriguez, Dane Sardinha, Mike Scott, David Uribes and Randy Wolf.
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 732-280-12 (.721) 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 and are 4-0 in 2007.
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: In the midst of its 68th season of intercollegiate competition, the Pepperdine baseball program has compiled an all-time mark to date of 1,757-1,224-22 (.589). 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 860-456-11 (.652), 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 118-78 (.602) record, three West Coast Conference (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 209-98 (.681) 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 732-280-12 (.721). Pepperdine concluded the 2006 season with a 23-11 home mark and is 4-0 in 2007.
WAVES ON THE ROAD: Since 1997, Waves are 158-141 (.528) 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. Pepperdine is 1-2 on the road in 2007.
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.