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Pepperdine to Host San Diego in key Three-Game WCC Series This Weekend

April 19, 2006

Malibu, Calif. -

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THIS WEEK: First place in the West Coast Conference (WCC) conference will be at stake when the Pepperdine baseball team opens a three-game series against first-place and 25th-ranked San Diego Friday at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning at 3 p.m.

The series continues with 1 p.m. contests on Saturday and Sunday. Friday's series opener will be televised live nationally by CSTV with Carter Blackburn and Kevin Stocker calling the action.

All three games can also be heard live on the Internet at www.PepperdineSports.com with Bill Schindler handling the play-by-play. Gametracker will also be available.

Pepperdine is the two-time defending WCC champion and is seeking its 17th conference title since 1968. The Waves will be attempting to win a third straight league championship for the first time since winning three in a row from 1991-93.

Pepperdine has won three straight WCC titles on two other occasions, accomplishing the feat during the 1974-76 campaigns and again from 1987-89.

NATIONAL POLLS: Pepperdine is unranked for the second week in a row after being among the Top 25 the previous 10 weeks. San Diego is No. 25 by Baseball America and No. 28 by Collegiate Baseball.

A LOOK AT THE WAVES: Pepperdine begins this weekend's action with a 25-15 overall record and is 5-4 in WCC play. The Waves are one game behind San Diego and San Francisco in the WCC standings. The Toreros and Dons are 6-3 heading into the weekend.

Pepperdine, Gonzaga and Saint Mary's are each one game back with 5-4 marks.

This weekend's series matches the WCC's top two teams since 1999. During that time, Pepperdine is 154-65 (.703) while San Diego has gone 124-94-1 (.568). The Waves have won seven divisional titles and three conference crowns while the Toreros have two division championships and two WCC titles.

After losing its first two series, Pepperdine swept a three-game series against Santa Clara over the weekend at Schott Stadium. The Waves won by scores of 9-4, 3-0 and 6-2.

UC SANTA BARBARA RECAP: Sophomore right hander Jason Dominguez pitched four scoreless innings and the Waves took ad vantage of five UC Santa Barbara errors to register an 8-1 victory Tuesday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The win was the fourth in a row for Pepperdine (25-15), which moved a season-high 10 games over .500. Pepperdine took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, added a run in the fifth and broke the game open with a five-run seventh inning as it took advantage of two Gauchos errors. Sophomore center fielder Adrian Ortiz, junior catcher Chad Tracy, junior left fielder Luke Salas and freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnaud each had two hits apiece to lead Pepperdine. d'Arnaud extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games. In four innings of work, Dominguez (3-1) surrendered one hit, walked two and struck out two to earn the victory.

ENRIGHT NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore right hander Barry Enright, who won his seventh consecutive decision Friday at Santa Clara, was named the West Coast Conference's (WCC) "Pitcher of the Week" for the second team this season, the conference announced on Monday. Enright pitched seven-plus scoreless innings against the Broncos, scattering six hits, walking two and striking out four. He was perfect through four innings, retiring 12 consecutive batters and faced just two batters over the minimum through seven innings before allowing three consecutive singles to begin the eighth. The sophomore right hander, who previously earned "Pitcher of the Week" on February 20, is 7-1 with a 4.28 ERA. Six of his wins have come against ranked opponents.

ABOUT SAN DIEGO: San Diego enters Friday's game with 24-15 overall and 6-3 in West Coast Conference play. The Toreros, who are coming off a 10-1 loss to UC Riverside on Tuesday, are ranked No. 25 by Baseball American and 28th by Collegiate Baseball. San Diego is batting .303 as a team and has a collective ERA of 3.75. The Toreros have four players batting .300 or better and are led by junior shortstop Steve Singleton, who is batting .355 and has a team-high tying four home runs. On the mound, San Diego is led by junior right hander Josh Butler, who is 8-3 with a 1.94 ERA. Freshman left-hander Brian Matusz, who will start Friday's game, is 3-2 with a 3.58 ERA in nine appearances. Head coach Rich Hill is in the midst of his eighth season at San Diego and has compiled an overall record to date of 259-191-3 (.575).

SERIES VERSUS SAN DIEGO: Friday's opener between Pepperdine and San Diego will mark the 151st meeting between the two programs with the Waves leading the all-time series, 102-48. The two teams met in a three-game series at Cunningham Stadium last year and the Toreros took two out of three, winning the first two games by scores 12-2 and 7-6 before Pepperdine won the series finale, 5-3. The two clubs met in the 2002 and 2003 West Coast Conference Championship Series and San Diego won both series at Eddy D. Field Stadium to win the conference crown and gain the WCC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

FRIDAY'S STARTER: Senior left-hander Paul Coleman will make his 12th appearance and start of the season on Friday. He is currently 5-3 with a 2.70 ERA. Coleman has worked 76.2 innings, allowed 58 hits, 28 runs (23 earned), walked 25 and struck out a team-high 69. He snapped a personal two-game losing streak last Thursday at Santa Clara after pitching seven innings, allowing eight hits, four runs, walking two and striking out eight. Coleman has 237 career strikeouts and is tied with Kea Kometani (2002-05) for eighth place on Pepperdine's all-time career strikeout list. He also has made 84 career appearances to rank fourth all-time in Pepperdine history. Coleman has a career record of 17-11 and 4.14 ERA in 272.0 innings.

SATURDAY'S STARTER: Sophomore right hander Barry Enright will make his 14th appearance and 13th start of the season on Saturday. He is 7-1 with a 4.28 ERA. Enright is coming off a solid performance his last time out. He pitched seven-plus scoreless innings, allowed six hits, walked two and struck out four against Santa Clara to record his seventh straight win. He held the Broncos hitless through the first four inning a faced just two batters over the minimum through seven innings. Four of his victories have come against No. 15 Long Beach State, No. 2 Oregon State, No. 8 Tulane and No. 4 Cal State Fullerton. On the season, he has pitched 73.2 innings, surrendered 84 hits, 41 runs (35 earned), walked 15 and struck out 46. Enright's career record stands at 17-2 with a 4.47 ERA while pitching 171.0 innings over 31 appearances.

SUNDAY'S STARTER: Senior right hander James Johnson will make his 14th appearance and sixth start of the season Sunday against San Diego. He is 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA. In 48.1 innings, Johnson has allowed 51 hits, 19 runs (18 earned), walked 15 and struck out 46. His last outing came in a starting role at Santa Clara and earned a victory after pitching 6.1 innings, allowing five hits, one run, a walk and four strikeouts. He enters Sunday's start with a career record of 9-5 and a 4.35 ERA in 68 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.

RODRIGUEZ NEARING 100 CAREER WINS: Pepperdine head coach Steve Rodriguez four wins shy of his 100th career coaching victory. His record currently stands at 96-70 (.578) heading into Friday's series opener against San Diego. He will become just the sixth coach in program history to record 100 wins. Other Pepperdine coaches to reach 100 victories include Dave Gorrie (409), John Scolinos (263), Frank Sanchez (257), Andy Lopez (241) and Wayne Wright (194).

URIBES RECORDS 300TH CAREER HIT: Pepperdine senior second baseman David Uribes became the second player in program history to collect 300 career hits following a three-hit performance at Santa Clara on Saturday. He added one more to his total against UC Santa Barbara and is 13 hits shy of tying Paul Faries (1984-87), who is the Waves' all-time hits leader with 314.

URIBES BECOMES ALL-TIME LEADER IN AT-BATS: With three at-bats against UC Santa Barbara, David Uribes became the all-time Pepperdine leader in at-bats with 922. He surpassed Paul Faries (1984-87), who previously held the record with 921.

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 216 and is 12 shy of current Waves assistant coach Rick Hirtensteiner (1986-89), who completed his career with 228 runs scored. Uribes is also in fifth place with 227 game played and is five away from tying Brad Bierley (1982-85) for for fourth place. He has played in every contest during his Pepperdine career, a streak of 227 straight. The senior second baseman is also tied with Cory Brightwell (2001-04) and Woody Cliffords (1999-2001) for sixth place on the career doubles list with 47 and with 67 stolen bases is one away from tying Jere Longenecker (1980-83) for 10th all-time with 68.

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. The junior catcher also also is tied with teammate David Uribes, Cory Brightwell (2001-04) and Woody Cliffords (1999-2001) for sixth place on the school's all-time doubles list with 47.

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 is fourth in all-time appearances with 84. Coleman also is tied with Kea Kometani (2002-05) for eighth place on the school's all-time strikeout list with 237.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: Pepperdine is 6-3 against ranked opponents...The Waves are currently batting .290 and have a 3.46 team ERA...Pepperdine ranks fifth in the West Coast Conference (WCC) in batting and is first in pitching...The Waves are 18-6 when scoring first and 19-5 when holding the opponent to three runs or less...Pepperdine is 20-2 when leading after six innings, 22-2 when ahead after seven innings and 23-0 when leading after eight innings...The Waves are 4-5 in one-run games...Freshman third baseman is in the midst of a career-high nine-game hitting streak during which time he is batting .400 (12-for-30)...Senior second baseman David Uribes has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games during which time he is batting .418 (33-for-79) with 19 runs scored and five doubles...Junior catcher Chad Tracy has had at least one hit in 34 of Pepperdine's 40 games this season and has hit safely in 21 of his 23 contests...In those 23 games, he is batting .374 (34-for-91)...Senior first baseman Nick Kliebert, who leads the Waves with a .371 average, has hit safely in in 15 of his last 17 games, batting .443 (27-for-61) with 12 RBI...During Pepperdine's just-concluded series at Santa Clara, Kliebert went 7-for-13 (.538)...Senior left-hander Paul Coleman leads the pitching staff with a 2.70 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 76.2 innings over 11 appearances...On the season, he has allowed 58 hits, 28 runs (23 earned), walked 25, struck out 69 and limited opposing batters to a .216 average...Freshman right hander Brett Hunter tops the staff with 15 appearances, six saves and has struck out 36 in 38.0 innings while holding opponents to a .220 average.

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.

FIVE FORMER WAVES ON MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL OPENING DAY ROSTERS: As Major League Baseball held its Opening Day on Monday, a total of five former Pepperdine players were on Opening Day rosters. Dan Haren (Oakland Athletics), Noah Lowry (San Francisco Giants), David Newhan (Baltimore Orioles), Will Ohman (Chicago Cubs) and Matt Wise (Milwaukee Brewers) were on big league rosters. A sixth player, Randy Wolf opened the season on the Philadelphia Phillies' disabled list.

WAVES SEEKING 29TH STRAIGHT 30-WIN SEASON: Pepperdine enters this weekend's play five victories shy of posting at least 30 wins for the 29th straight season. The Waves are currently 25-15 on the year. 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.

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.

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 154-65 (.703) over the last seven-plus seasons, an average of 21.3 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 124-94-1 (.568) 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 1,734-1,216-22 (.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 839-448-11 (.651), including a 456-157-2 (.743) 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 96-70 (.578) 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 720-276-12 (.720) and registering just one losing season in 33 years. Since 1997, the Waves are 197-94 (.677) 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 15-7 in 2006.

WAVES ON THE ROAD: Since 1997, Waves are 148-137 (.519) 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 10-8 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.