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No. 19 Pepperdine Opens Four-Game Road Trip at USC on Wednesday

March 28, 2006

Malibu, Calif. -

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THIS WEEK: Riding the momentum of a season-high six-game winning streak, the nationally-ranked Pepperdine baseball returns to action on Wednesday when it travels across town to play USC at Dedeaux Field beginning at 4 p.m.

The contest marks the Waves' final non-conference game before they open West Coast Conference (WCC) play Friday at Loyola Marymount.

The series begins with a 2 p.m. contest at George Page Stadium and continues with 1 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday.

Pepperdine, which enters this weekend's series against the Lions as the defending WCC Champion, will be seeking its third straight conference title and 17th championship since 1968.

WAVES ON THE INTERNET: A total of 42 regular-season games will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.PepperdineSports.com with live video webcasts for home games. Bill Schindler will handle the play-by-play. All the action also can be followed live Gametracker.

NATIONAL POLLS: Pepperdine is ranked No. 21 in the latest Baseball America poll. For the first time this season, the Waves do not appear in the Collegiate Baseball poll.

A LOOK AT THE WAVES: Pepperdine begins this weekend's action with an 18-11 record, has won a season-high six in a row and 10 of 12. The Waves are coming off a three-game sweep of Northwestern over the weekend.

TRACY RECEIVES WEEKLY HONOR: Pepperdine All-American catcher Chad Tracy was named the West Coast Conference (WCC) Player of the Week, the conference announced on Monday. The junior from Claremont, California, continued his hot-hitting last week against nationally-ranked Cal State Fullerton and Northwestern. In four games, Tracy batted .563 (9-for-16) with five runs scored, a double, two triples, a pair of home runs and six RBI. He also posted a 1.250 slugging percentage and a .611 on-base percentage while extending his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games. In the Waves' 7-4 win over No. 4 Cal State Fullerton, Tracy went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBI while recording his fourth career two-home run game. He also batted .500 (6-for-12) with three runs scored, two triples and two RBI in a three-game series against Northwestern. In Saturday's win over the Wildcats, Tracy was 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. Two of his hits were triples.

NORTHWESTERN RECAP: Pepperdine recorded its first sweep of the season and increased its winning streak to six games after winning all three games of a weekend series against Northwestern. The Waves outscored the Wildcats 22-5 in the series as they won by scores of 8-0, 10-3 and 4-2. Pepperdine hit .337 and posted a 1.67 ERA during the three games. In Friday's series-opener, senior left-hander Paul Coleman pitched eight shutout innings, allowing four singles, walking one and striking out six. On Saturday, freshman right hander Brett Hunter made his first career start and struck out eight in seven innings. He was backed up offensively by David Uribes, Adrian Ortiz, Chad Tracy and Nick Kliebert, who went a combined 10-for-17 with six runs scored and nine RBI. Senior right hander James Johnson continued the streak of solid pitching as he worked a career-high 8.2 innings, allowed five hits, two runs, walked one and struck out five on Sunday as the Waves won on a walk-off two-run home run by Justin Tellam with one out in the ninth inning.

ABOUT USC: USC begins this week's action with a 15-11 record and 2-1 mark in Pacific-10 Conference play. The Trojans have been idled since March 21 when they defeated Loyola Marymount, 14-4. USC is batting .334 as a team and has a collective ERA of 4.33. The Trojans have seven players batting .300 or better and are led by junior outfielder Daniel Perales, who tops the club with a .405 average. Fellow junior outfielder Cyle Hankerd is second on the team with a .389 average and leads USC with five home runs and 32 RBI. Freshman Tommy Milone leads the pitching staff, compiling a 5-0 record in nine appearances. Head coach Mike Gillespie is in the midst of his 20th season at USC and has compiled an overall record of 753-449-2 (.626) and won one national championship.

SERIES VERSUS USC: Wednesday's game between Pepperdine and USC will mark the 117th meeting between the two programs with the Trojans leading the all-time series, 83-32-1. The Waves and Trojans met four times during the 2005 campaign and USC registered a 3-1 record. The Trojans won the only regular-season game played between the two teams, defeating Pepperdine 4-3 at Dedeaux. The two teams squared off three times during the Long Beach Regional, with USC winning two of the three meetings. The Trojans defeated the Waves, 7-3, in the opener before Pepperdine staved off elimination with a 9-2 victory. In the regional championship game, USC won 5-2 to advance to the Super Regional.

WEDNESDAY'S STARTER: Sophomore right hander Barry Enright will make his 10th appearance and ninth start of the season on Sunday. He is 5-1 with a 5.04 ERA. Enright's last outing came Tuesday at Cal State Fullerton where he earned a victory after working 6.1 innings, surrendering eight hits, four runs, walking two and striking out four. It was his fifth straight victory and fourth over a ranked opponent this season. He has wins over No. 15 Long Beach State, No. 2 Oregon State, No. 8 Tulane and No. 4 Cal State Fullerton. On the season, he has pitched 50.0 innings, surrendered 55 hits, 31 runs (28 earned), walked 12 and struck out 27. Enright's career record stands at 15-2 with a 4.76 ERA while pitching 147.1 innings over 27 appearances.

COLEMAN AND TRACY ON BROOKS WALLACE AWARD WATCH LIST: Senior left-hander Paul Coleman and junior catcher Chad Tracy were among a group of 120 players named to the 2006 Brooks Wallace Award Watch List. The Brooks Wallace Award is presented annually by the College Baseball Foundation to the national college baseball player of the year. Nebraska third baseman Alex Gordon won the award in 2005. Both Coleman and Tracy are coming off outstanding seasons in 2005 in which they were named the West Coast Conference's (WCC) Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year, respectively. 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 at a press conference in Omaha, Neb.. 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 the Fox Sports Network.

TRACY NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN: Pepperdine junior catcher Chad Tracy was named a first-team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball, second teamer by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association (NCBWA) and a third pick by Baseball America. Tracy is coming off a tremendous sophomore campaign in which he was named second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and was tabbed the West Coast Conference's (WCC) "Player of the Year" and a first team All-WCC selection. Starting all 64 games, Tracy led the WCC with a .367 average, 94 hits, 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 61 RBI. Tracy, who was invited to last summer's USA Baseball National Team Trials, is also expected to be a candidate for the Johnny Bench Award that is awarded to college baseball's top catcher.

PEPPERDINE TABBED AS "SLEEPER" TO REACH COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: Coming off a 41-23 season in which it advanced to the championship game of the Long Beach Regional and returning 24 letterwinners from last year's squad, the Pepperdine baseball team was chosen as the sleeper to make an appearance in the 2006 College World Series, according to Baseball America's Will Kimmey. Kimmey picked the eight favorites to reach Omaha this June, with Pepperdine listed as a contender to steal one of those top spots. Defending national champion Texas was picked to repeat in 2006. The Longhorns return their top four starting pitchers from last season. Among the other teams chosen by Baseball America to advance to Omaha were Rice, Clemson, Florida, Oregon State, Cal State Fullerton, Nebraska, and Florida State.

MORE PRESEASON ACCOLADES: Several Pepperdine baseball players garnered preseason accolades and honors in the most recent issue of Baseball America. Left-hander Paul Coleman was named the 11th-best pro prospect among college seniors, while center fielder Adrian Ortiz was tabbed the 18th best sophomore prospect, catcher Chad Tracy was ranked 25th among juniors and rookie Chase d'Arnaud was selected the 36th-best prospect among freshmen. Tracy and Coleman were also named to the WCC's preseason all-conference team along with sophomore more shortstop Danny Worth and junior first baseman/catcher Justin Tellam in a poll of league coaches conducted by Baseball America. Tellam begins his first year at Pepperdine after transferring from UNLV. The battery of Tracy and Coleman were also picked to repeat as WCC "Player of the Year" and "Pitcher of the Year", respectively.

URIBES CLIMBING CAREER CHARTS: Senior second baseman David Uribes is working his way up Pepperdine's career offensive lists. Uribes is second on Pepperdine's all-time runs scored list with 207 and is 21 shy of current Waves assistant coach Rick Hirtensteiner (1986-89), who completed his career with 228 runs scored. Uribes also is No. 3 on the school's all-time base hits (280) list, and fourth in career at-bats with 875, one shy of Hirtensteiner, who is No. 2 all-time. He is also ninth on the school's all-time games played list with 216. Uribes, who is one game-played shy of tying Bob Helson (1977-80) for eighth place, has played in every contest during his Pepperdine career, a streak of 216 straight.

TRACY MOVING UP HOME RUN LIST: Junior All-American catcher Chad Tracy is tied with G.J. Raymundo (1998-99) for fifth place on Pepperdine's all-time home run list with 29. He is one home run shy of tying Jared Pitney (1998-2001) for fourth place with 30. Tracy hit 12 home runs during his first two seasons in Malibu and has five thus far in 2006.

COLEMAN MOVING UP SCHOOL APPEARANCE LIST: Reigning West Coast Conference (WCC) "Pitcher of the Year" Paul Coleman is making a steady climb up the Pepperdine appearance list. The senior left-hander has appeared in 81 games and is one appearance shy of tying Eric Brubaker (1993-97) for fourth place.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: Pepperdine is 6-3 against ranked opponents...The Waves are currently batting .282 as a team and lead the West Coast Conference (WCC) with a 3.48 team ERA...Over its last 12 games, the Pepperdine pitching staff has compiled a 2.43 ERA and limited opposing batters to a .220 average, including a 2.03 ERA and .210 opponents' batting average in the last 11 games. Pepperdine is 12-5 when scoring first...The Waves are 14-4 when holding the opponent to three runs or less...Pepperdine is 14-2 when leading after six innings, 17-2 when ahead after seven innings and 17-0 when leading after eight innings...The Waves are 2-4 in one-run games...Junior catcher Chad Tracy, who has been the Waves' hottest hitter over the last 12 games, has upped his season average to .359. He leads the club with 42 hits and is second with 25 RBI...Over his last 12 games, Tracy is batting .458 (22-for-48) with 12 runs scored and four home runs...Senior infielder Nick Kliebert also has been hot of late, raising his average to .333 to rank second on the club...Over his last 12 games, Kliebert is batting .400 (16-for-40) with eight runs scored, two doubles and 11 RBI...Senior second baseman David Uribes is batting .319 and leads the Waves with 28 runs scored and 16 stolen bases, which lead the WCC...With 42 career doubles, Uribes is three shy of moving into a tie for ninth place on Pepperdine's all-time career list...He also has 66 stolen bases and is two shy of tying Jere Longenecker (1980-83) for 10th place on Pepperdine's all-time stolen base list...Senior left-hander Paul Coleman leads the pitching staff with a 2.04 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 57.1 innings over eight appearances...Coleman is 2-0 with 1.03 ERA in his last three appearances. Over 26.1 innings, he has allowed 12 hits, three runs, walked six and struck out 22 while holding opposing batters to a .143 average...Freshman right hander Brett Hunter tops the staff with 12 appearances, five saves and has struck out 34 in 29.0 innings while holding opponents to a .196 average.

FORMER WAVE DAN HAREN NAMED TO TEAM USA ROSTER: Former Pepperdine All-American and current Oakland Athletics pitcher Dan Haren is one of 52 U.S. players named to Team USA's provisional roster for the World Baseball Classic that will be held March 3-20 in the United States, Japan and Puerto Rico. The World Baseball Classic is the first international tournament to boast Major League players and includes such U.S. players as Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey, Jr., Derek Jeter and Alex Gonzalez. The final Team USA 30-man roster will not be determined until five days prior to its first game. Team USA opens play in the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday, March 7 at 2 p.m. local time vs. Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ.

Steve Kleen RECEIVES JOHN SCOLINOS AWARD: Steve Kleen, who was named a first team All-American as a senior in 2005, was honored with the 2006 John Scolinos Distinguished Player Award following the Pepperdine baseball team's annual alumni game on January 28. The award, in its second 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 is 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.

THREE WAVES SELECTED IN 2005 MLB DRAFT: For the 31st consecutive year, Pepperdine had at least one player taken in Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft in 2005. Junior left-hander Paul Coleman was chosen in the ninth round by the Detroit Tigers, while senior utility player Steve Kleen was an 11th round selection by the Oakland A's and senior right hander Kea Kometani was picked in the 15th round by the Texas Rangers. With Kometani's selection in the 15th round, Pepperdine has had players drafted a total of 118 times since the first year of the draft in 1966.

SIX FORMER WAVES ON MAJOR LEAGUE ROSTERS: As teams begin to prepare to open Spring Training, a total of seven former Pepperdine players are on Major League Baseball 40-man rosters. Dan Haren (Oakland Athletics), Noah Lowry (San Francisco Giants), David Newhan (Baltimore Orioles), Will Ohman (Chicago Cubs), Dane Sardinha (Cincinnati Reds), Matt Wise (Milwaukee Brewers) and Randy Wolf (Philadelphia Phillies) will be heading to Arizona and Florida with their big league teams.

WAVES POST ANOTHER 20-WIN CONFERENCE SEASON: After taking two of three from San Francisco over the weekend, Pepperdine registered its seventh 20-win West Coast Conference (WCC) season in the last nine years and 16th in the last 19 seasons while playing a 30-game league schedule. The Waves completed WCC action with a conference-best 21-9 mark. Pepperdine also posted a conference-record 25-5 in 2001.

WAVES POST 28TH STRAIGHT 30-WIN SEASON: For the 28th straight season, Pepperdine posted a 30-win season in 2005. The Waves posted a 41-23 overall mark. Dating back to the 1978 season, the Waves have totaled at least 30 wins every year, 40 wins 12 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 seven-year WCC record of 149-61 (.709), an average of 21.3 wins per season, captured seven divisional crowns, two 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 118-91-1 (.564) record, claiming two divisional titles and winning two WCC Championship Series.

WEST COAST CONFERENCE FORMAT CHANGES IN 2006: After seven years of conference play with a two-division format, the West Coast Conference (WCC) will move away from divisional play in 2006 and will play a 21-game round-robin schedule. The first and second place winners will advance to a best-of-three championship series, with the winner being declared the WCC Tournament winner and earning the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. The three-game series will be played at the site of the first-place finisher.

WAVES CAPTURE 16TH WCC CHAMPIONSHIP: Pepperdine captured its 16th West Coast Conference (WCC) title after taking two of three at Loyola Marymount over the weekend. It marked the Waves second straight after sweeping the Lions last year. 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 12 of the last 21 league championships. Additionally, since the WCC went to a two-division format in 1999, Pepperdine is the only member to appear in all seven conference championship series. Last year's WCC title was the Waves' second straight and third 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.

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 2006 season. The Waves have registered a 1,047-546 (.657) record and made 16 NCAA Tournament appearances during that time. Cal State Fullerton has compiled an overall record of 1,204-511 (.702) and made 22 NCAA appearances. Pepperdine's 16 NCAA Tournament appearances are second behind the Titans and tie USC.

THE PROGRAM: In the midst of its 67th season of intercollegiate competition, the Pepperdine baseball program has compiled an all-time mark to date of 1,727-1,212-22 (.587). The Waves have advanced to the NCAA Championships on 22 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 28 seasons dating back to 1978, and surpassed the 40-win mark on 12 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 12 of the last 21 league championships. Dating back to the start of the 1985 campaign, Pepperdine has compiled a cumulative record of 832-444-11 (.651), including a 451-153-2 (.746) 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, is in the midst of his third season as the Waves' head coach. Rodriguez was hired on June 18, 2004 after serving as an assistant for four years under Frank Sanchez. Rodriguez has led the Waves to a 89-66 (.574) record, two West Coast Conference (WCC) titles, two NCAA Regional berths and one national Top 25 ranking. 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. 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.

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 718-274-12 (.721) and registering just one losing season in 33 years. Since 1997, the Waves are 195-92 (.679) in games played at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The Waves were 9-12 in the inaugural season of 1973 and since then has produced 31 winning seasons in the last 33 years, including a 19-9 record in 2005. The Waves have had 28 straight winning seasons at home. Pepperdine finished 19-9 at home in 2005 and are 13-5 in 2006.

WAVES ON THE ROAD: Since 1997, Waves are 143-135 (.514) in games played on the road. Pepperdine completed the 2005 campaign with a 22-14 road record. The Waves have registered winning road records in six of the last nine seasons. Pepperdine is 5-6 in 2006.

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.