Feb. 22, 2007
Malibu, Calif. -
THIS WEEK: The nationally-ranked Pepperdine baseball team, off to its best start since the 2001 season, resumes its schedule this week when it opens a three-game weekend series against Fresno State at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning Friday at 2 p.m.
The series will continue with a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday and conclude with a 1 p.m. start on Sunday.
Pepperdine heads into Friday's contest with a 7-3 record after taking two of three from No. 11 Wichita State over the weekend. The Waves won the first two games by scores of 2-0 and 10-2 before having their six-game winning streak snapped following a 3-2 loss on Sunday.
Pepperdine is currently 6-1 on its current 12-game homestand that will conclude Tuesday, February 27, with a 2 p.m. contest against UC Irvine.
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. 15 nationally by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, No. 18 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 20 by Baseball America. Fresno State is unranked.
WICHITA STATE SERIES RECAP: Pepperdine received outstanding pitching during its three-game series against Wichita State as Waves hurlers allowed just five runs, limited the Shockers to a .224 average and posted a 1.33 ERA in 27 innings. Junior All-American Barry Enright got Pepperdine off to a good start on the mound he logged a season-high tying 7.1 scoreless innings, scattered seven hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four in Friday's 2-0 victory. Junior right fielder Donald Brown led the offense with two hits and an RBI. In Saturday's 10-2 win, sophomore Brett Hunter worked his way through five to earn the victory while the top three batters in the Waves' line-up went 8-for-12 with five runs scored and seven RBI. Junior shortstop Danny Worth and sophomore designated hitter Eric Thames each had three hits and three RBI while leadoff man Adrian Ortiz had two hits, three runs scored an RBI. In Sunday's series finale, Wichita State received seven strong innings from left-hander Rob Musgrave as the Shockers salvaged one win the series. Musgrave limited Pepperdine to four hits, a run, walked one and struck out four while Derek Schermerhorn and Conor Gillaspie produced run scoring hits. The Waves cut a 3-0 deficit to 3-2 in the eighth inning as they loaded the bases and scored twice on a two-run single by Brown. Sophomore left-hander Robert Dickmann started for Pepperdine, went a career-long six innings and struck out a career-high six batters.
ABOUT FRESNO STATE: Fresno State comes into this weekend's series with a 5-6 record after sweeping a three-game series from Loyola Marymount at Pete Beiden Field over the weekend. The Bulldogs won by scores of 15-4, 5-3 and 5-4 in 10 innings. Fresno State is batting .282 and has a collective ERA of 3.99. The Bulldogs have five players batting .300 or better and are led by sophomore infielder Erik Wetzel, who is batting .375. Junior outfielder Steve Susdorf has been the club's top run-producer as he has a team-high 14 RBI. Sophomore left-hander Justin Wilson, who will start Friday's opener, tops the pitching staff with a 2-1 record and 2.45 ERA. Head coach Mike Batesole is in his fifth season at Fresno State and has compiled an overall record to date of 139-111 (.556).
SERIES VERSUS FRESNO STATE: Friday's series-opener will mark the 56th meeting between the two programs since 1954 and the Waves lead the all-time series, 35-20. The two teams met in a three-game series at Pete Beiden Field last year and the Bulldogs took two of three. After Pepperdine won the series-opener, 7-2, Fresno State came back to take the final two games of the series by scores of 9-8 and 8-3. The Bulldogs are making their first appearance at Eddy D. Field Stadium since the 2003 season when they were swept in a three-game set by the Waves.
GAME 1 STARTER: Junior right hander Barry Enright will make his fourth appearance and start of the season on Friday. The junior All-American is 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA. In 21.2 innings, Enright has allowed 17 hits, three runs (two earned), walked two and struck out 12. Enright's last start came on Friday against No. 11 Wichita State when he earned a victory after pitching 7.1 scoreless innings, scattering seven hits and striking out four. The win improved his career record to 26-3 and moved him into a tie for seventh place on Pepperdine's all-time career wins list. It also marked his 41st career start, moving him into sole possession of 10th place on the Waves' career starts list. Enright will be making his second career start against the Bulldogs and is 0-0 with a 13.50 ERA against Fresno State. He started Game 2 of last season's series and pitched four innings, allowed eight hits, six runs (all earned), walked one and struck out four in a game the Waves lost 9-8. Enright began the 2007 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 fifth appearance and third start of the season on Saturday. He is currently 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA and one save. In 15.0 innings of work, he has allowed 13 hits, seven runs (five earned) walked eight and struck out a team-high 15 batters. Hunter's last start came on Saturday against No. 11 Wichita State and he earned the victory after working five innings, allowing three hits, two runs, walking five 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 fourth appearance and start of the season on Saturday. He is 0-1 with a 7.24 ERA while working 13.2 innings. Dickmann's last appearance came on Saturday against No. 11 Wichita State when he turned in a career-best performance. He worked a career-high six innings, allowed six hits, two runs, walked four and struck out a career-best six 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 Fresno State, Pepperdine concludes its season-long 12-game homestand when it hosts UC Irvine Tuesday beginning at 2 p.m. The Anteaters, who extended their winning streak to six games following a 6-3 win at USC on Tuesday, are 7-2-1 and host Utah in a three-game weekend series.
ENRIGHT, WORTH RECEIVE WEEKLY HONORS: Juniors Barry Enright and Danny Worth were named West Coast Conference (WCC) Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively, by the conference office. The duo also was named to this week's College Baseball Foundation Honor Roll. Enright, who was named to the CBF's Honor Roll, for the second straight, improved his record to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.83 after pitching a season-high tying 7.1 scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and striking out four. In four games, Worth batted .563 (9-for-16) with six runs scored, four doubles, five RBI, posted a .632 slugging percentage and slugged .813.
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 45 career doubles and is one 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 five 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 136 consecutive games and made 134 consecutive starts dating back to February 12, 2005 when he made his first career start against Cal Poly. His 136 games played are second on the Waves to senior left fielder Luke Salas, who has appeared in 188 games and started 171.
ENRIGHT TIED FOR SEVENTH ON CAREER WINS LIST: Junior Barry Enright holds a 26-3 career record and is one win shy of tying Britt Craven (1988-90) and Steve Schenewerk (1997-2000) for fifth place on Pepperdine's all-time wins list.
MORE ENRIGHT: Junior right hander Barry Enright has made three starts this season to bring his career total to 41 and move him into sole possession of 10th place on Pepperdine's all-time career starts list. Friday's start will move him into a tie with 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 during the second weekend of the season. He enters Friday's game against Fresno State with a .305 career average. Salas is 35 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 5TH PLACE ON TRIPLES LIST: With three triples this season, junior center fielder Adrian Ortiz has moved into a tie for fifth place on the Waves' all-time career triples list. His 11 triples tie him with Matt Howard (1986-89), Steve Rodriguez (1990-92) and Bob Helsom (1977-80) for fifth place and are three shy of tying Ralph Sheffield for fourth 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 .565 (13-for-23) with seven runs, a double, two triples, seven RBI, .783 slugging percentage and .688 on-base percentage in seven game. After missing three games with a wrist injury, Thames returned to action last weekend against Wichita State.
ARMS RACE: Through 10 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 six 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's role. He has made three relief appearances and earned three saves. 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 734-281-12 (.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 and are 6-1 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 1,759-1,225-22 (.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 862-457-11 (.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 120-79 (.603) 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 211-99 (.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 734-281-12 (.720). 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.