March 19, 2007
Malibu, Calif. -
THIS WEEK: The nationally-ranked Pepperdine baseball team, winners of 16 of their last 21 games, returns to the diamond on Tuesday when it travels across town to take on nationally-ranked USC at Dedeaux Field beginning at 7 p.m.
The Waves are 17-7 on the season after winning two of three games from Minnesota over the weekend at Eddy D. Field Stadium. Pepperdine recorded an 8-1 series-opening victory on Friday and defeated the Golden Gophers 12-3 on Saturday before letting Sunday's series finale slip away and falling 5-4.
Pepperdine and USC will be meeting for the second time this season. The Waves registered an 8-3 victory over the Trojans at Eddy D. Field Stadium on February 13. Pepperdine collected a season-high 16 hits, including three by junior shortstop Danny Worth, and received four effective innings of relief from junior right hander Adam Olbrychowski to pick up the win.
Following Tuesday's game, the Waves will open a three-game series against UC Santa Barbara on Friday at Caesar Uyseka Stadium beginning at 1 p.m. The series will move to Malibu on Sunday for a 1 p.m. contest and conclude Monday with a 3 p.m. start at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
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. 12 by Baseball America and No. 13 by Collegiate Baseball. USC enters play No. 19 by Baseball America and No. 25 by Collegiate Baseball.
The Waves are 5-3 against ranked opponents, posting wins over USC (21), Wichita State 2 (11), North Carolina State (24) and Oklahoma State (16). Pepperdine's losses came against Wichita State, Oklahoma State and Cal State Fullerton (12).
This weekend's series against UC Santa Barbara marks the Waves' final non-conference contests before they open defense of their West Coast Conference (WCC) title on Friday, March 30 against Saint Mary's at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
MINNESOTA SERIES RECAP: Pepperdine posted its fourth three-game series of the season after taking two of three from Minnesota at Eddy D. Field Stadium over the weekend. Behind the solid 1-2 punch of All-American right handers Barry Enright and Brett Hunter, the Waves won the first two games of the series by scores of 8-1 and 12-3. Pepperdine took a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning of Sunday's series finale before the Golden Gophers rallied against the Waves' bullpen to record a 5-4 victory. In Friday's series-opener, juniors Adrian Ortiz and Danny Worth combined to go 6-for-10 with two runs scored and four RBI from the top of the Waves' lineup. That proved plenty for Enright, who allowed six hits, an unearned run, walked one and struck out six to record the win. Ortiz and Worth were at it again on Saturday, combining to 6-for-10 with five runs scored and RBI to back Hunter, who pitched a career-high tying seven innings and did not allow a run. Minnesota Starter Dustin Barabender finally cooled of the duo of Ortiz and Worth as they went just 2-for-9 in the game. Pepperdine, however, held a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning before the Golden Gophers sent nine batters to the plate and scored four runs to take a 5-3 lead. The Waves had opportunities to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings as they got the tying run to second base with less than two outs, but were unable to produce the big hit. The loss overshadowed a solid pitching effort by left-hander Robert Dickmann, who pitched a career-high seven innings, allowed five hits, two runs, walked one and struck out one. Pepperdine batted .343 in the three games and posted a 2.67 ERA while limiting Minnesota to a .230 batting average.
ABOUT USC: USC enters Tuesday's game with a 16-9 record and is ranked No. 19 by Baseball America and No. 25 by Collegiate Baseball. The Trojans have won three of the their last four and seven of nine. USC, which was idled over the weekend took two of three at Stanford (3/9-3/11) in a non-conference series and defeated Portland, 2-1, last Wednesday. The Trojans are batting .283 as a team and have a collective ERA of 3.91. USC has seven players batting .300 or better and are led by junior outfielder Darren Gemoll, who is batting .367 in 13 games. Junior infielder Matt Cusick is hitting .351 while playing in 24 of 25 games. Sophomore left-hander Anthony Vasquez, who will start against the Waves, is 2-4 with a 3.62 ERA. Vasquez has made six starts and struck out 23 batters in 37.1 innings. Head coach Chad Krueter, who played at Pepperdine from 1983-85, is in his first season as USC's head coach.
SERIES VERSUS USC: Tuesday's game will mark the 119th meeting between Pepperdine and USC in a series that dates back to 1943, and the Trojans lead the all-time series, 83-34-1. The two teams last met on February 13 and the Waves posted an 8-3 victory at Eddy D. Field Stadium. It marked Pepperdine's third straight win over USC dating back to 2006 and marked the Waves' first three-game winning streak over the Trojans in series history. Pepperdine has won two straight against USC on seven different occasions. The Waves and Trojans have met 14 times in post-season play and USC holds a 10-4 advantage. They last met in the post-season during the 2005 Long Beach Regional and the Trojans won two of three meetings, including a 5-2 victory in the regional final.
TUESDAY'S STARTER: Junior right hander Adam Olbrychowski will make his eighth appearance and second start of the season on Tuesday. He is 4-1 with a 4.96 ERA while throwing 16.1 innings, allowing 19 hits, nine runs, walking five and striking out 14. He last worked in relief against Minnesota on Sunday and threw 0.2 innings and allowed one hit. His lone start of the season came versus UC Irvine (2-27) and he logged 5.0 scoreless innings, allowed five hits and struck out two en route to earning the win. His first appearance of the season came against USC (2-13) and he registered a win after pitching 4.0 innings, allowing three hits, one run and walking two.
SATURDAY'S STARTER: Junior right hander Barry Enright will make his eighth appearance and start of the season at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. The junior All-American is 5-1 with a 1.38 ERA. In a team-leading 52.0 innings, Enright has allowed 41 hits, 12 runs (eight earned), walked five and struck out 32. Enright's last start came on Friday against Minnesota and he earned the victory after pitching 8.0 innings, allowing six hits, an unearned run, walking one and striking out six. Enright has worked 7.0 innings or more six of his seven starts. He enters Saturday's game with a 28-4 and tied with Doug Simons (1986-88) for fourth place on Pepperdine's all-time career wins list. He also is seventh on the program's all-time starts list with 45. 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.
SUNDAY'S STARTER: Sophomore right hander Brett Hunter will make his ninth appearance and seventh start of the season on Saturday. He is currently 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA and one save. In 42.0 innings of work, he has allowed 27 hits, 13 runs (eight earned) walked 22 and struck out a team-high 38 batters. Hunter earned a victory over Minnesota on Saturday after pitching a career-high tying 7.0 innings, surrendering four hits, no runs, walking one and striking out six. As a starter, Hunter is 4-0 with a 1.18 ERA while working 38.0 innings and limiting opposing batters to a .165 average. The Waves are 6-0 in Hunter's six starts. 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.
MONDAY'S STARTER: Sophomore left-hander Robert Dickmann, a transfer from UCLA, will make his ninth appearance and start of the season on Monday. He is currently 1-1 with a 4.29 ERA. Dickmann has allowed 39 hits, 18 runs (17 earned), walked 15 and struck out 26 in 35.2 innings. He last pitched on Sunday against Minnesota and received a no-decision after pitching a career-high 7.0 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, walking one and striking out one. Over his last four starts, Dickmann is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA while working 22.0 innings and limiting opposing hitters to a 225 average. He picked up his first career win against Fresno State on February 25 after pitching 5.1 innings. Dickmann was 0-0 with a 10.38 ERA while making six relief appearances in 2006.
WORTH 8TH ON DOUBLES LIST: Junior shortstop Danny Worth has 49 career doubles to rank eighth on Pepperdine's all-time doubles list. He is two doubles shy of tying David Uribes (2003-06), who is seventh with 51. Worth currently leads the Waves with nine doubles on the season. Scott Shockey (1986-89) is the all-time leader with 60 doubles. Worth totaled 24 doubles in 2006, two shy of the single-season record of 26 set by Dane Sardinha in 1999.
WORTH THE IRON MAN: Since making his collegiate debut, February 5, 2005 versus UC Santa Barbara, junior shortstop Danny Worth has played in 150 consecutive games and made 148 consecutive starts dating back to February 12, 2005 when he made his first career start against Cal Poly. His 150 games played are second on the Waves to senior left fielder Luke Salas, who has appeared in 202 games and started 184.
ENRIGHT TIED FOR FOURTH ON CAREER WINS LIST: Junior Barry Enright holds a 28-4 career record and is one win shy of tying Dan Haren (1999-01) for third place on Pepperdine's all-time wins list. His .875 winning percentage ranks first in Waves history. Steve Duda (1990-93) is first in all-time career wins after registering a 44-9 record.
MORE ENRIGHT: Junior right hander Barry Enright has made seven starts this season to bring his career total to 45 and place him seventh on Pepperdine's all-time starts list.
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 200-100 MAN: Senior left fielder Luke Salas reached the 200 hit plateau against UC Davis earlier this season. He enters Tuesday's game against USC with a .309 career average. Salas is 17 hits shy of tying for 10th place on Pepperdine's all-time career hits list. The Westlake Village resident also has 103 career RBI.
ORTIZ FIFTH ON ALL-TIME TRIPLES LIST: With four triples this season, junior center fielder Adrian Ortiz ranks fifth on the Waves' all-time career triples list. His 12 triples tie place him two behind Ralph Sheffiled (1982-83), who totaled 14 for his career.
IMPRESSIVE ARMS: The Pepperdine pitching staff has been impressive so far this season. The Waves enter Tuesday's game with a 3.31 ERA and is holding opponents to a .242 average. Through 24 games, Pepperdine hurlers have allowed three runs or less 15 times. During its just-concluded three-game series against Minnesota, Pepperdine pitching posted a 2.67 ERA, allowing just eight earned runs, and held the Golden Gophers to a .230 average.
DOMINGUEZ CLOSES: After starting the second game of the season at UNLV, junior right hander Jason Dominguez has taken over the closer's role previously held by sophomore Brett Hunter, who was inserted into the starting rotation. He has made 12 relief appearances, earned seven saves and has a 1-1 record and 3.55 ERA while throwing 12.2 innings. Dominguez now has nine career saves and is one shy of tying for 10th on Pepperdine's all-time list.
MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: Pepperdine is 17-7, its best start to a season since 1999 when the Waves opened the season 23-2 through 25 games and was 30-3 through 33 games...The Waves are 5-3 against ranked opponents...Pepperdine is batting .323 as a team and has a collective ERA of 3.31...The Waves; .323 mark currently ranks as the third-highest single-season average...The 1987 club holds the all-time record with a .328 average and the 1999 team batted .324...Pepperdine has been a dominant team at home, registering a 12-2 record, batting .345 and posting a 1.93 ERA...The Waves are 5-5 on the road while batting .292 and recording a 5.32 ERA...The starting weekend rotation of Barry Enright, Brett Hunter and Robert Dickmann has a combined record of 10-2, 2.16 ERA and is holding opposing batters to a .225 average while making 20 starts...On the season, Pepperdine pitching has allowed three runs or less in 15 of 24 games...Sophomore third baseman Chase d'Arnaud has a career-high 14-game hitting streak, batting .442 (23-52) with 16 runs, five doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI, .712 slugging percentage and .483 on-base percentage...Junior shortstop Danny Worth has hit safely in nine straight games while batting .421 (16-38) with nine runs scored, three doubles, a triple, two home runs and 10 RBI while Adrian Ortiz (.459) and Luke Salas (.370) have seven-game hitting streaks.
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.
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 740-282-12 (.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 12-2 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 1,769-1,229-22 (.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 872-459-11 (.654), 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 130-83 (.610) 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 217-100 (.684) 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 740-282-12 (.721). Pepperdine concluded the 2006 season with a 23-11 home mark and is 12-2 in 2007.
WAVES ON THE ROAD: Since 1997, Waves are 162-144 (.529) 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 3-5 on the road and 2-0 in neutral field games 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.