April 26, 2006
Malibu, Calif. -
THIS WEEK: Seeking to carry over the momentum gained from a dramatic extra-inning victory over 25th-ranked San Diego on Sunday, the nationally-ranked Pepperdine baseball team concludes the home portion of its West Coast Conference (WCC) schedule this weekend when it hosts Portland in a three-game series at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
The series opens with a 3 p.m. contest on Friday and continues with a 3 p.m. start on Saturday and concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. Saturday's game is a later start due to the University holding commencement exercises.
All three games can 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: After a two-week absence, Pepperdine return to the national rankings this week and is No. 28 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
A LOOK AT THE WAVES: Pepperdine begins this weekend's action with a 27-16 overall record and is 7-5 in WCC play. The Waves are one game behind Saint Mary's (23-16, 8-4) in the standings and are tied for second with Gonzaga, San Diego and San Francisco.
Pepperdine is coming off a home series win over then No. 25 San Diego last weekend at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
EIGHT SENIORS CONCLUDING CAREERS: Eight members of the Pepperdine baseball team are playing their final weekend series at Eddy D. Field Stadium. Michael Beattie, Paul Coleman, Brandon Daguio, James Johnson, Danny Kelly, Nick Kliebert, Bryan Minkel and David Uribes are concluding their careers this season.
SAN DIEGO RECAP: After losing the opener last Friday, Pepperdine rallied to win the final two games of its weekend series against No. 25 San Diego. The Toreros took the opener, 6-1, before the Waves captured the final two games by scores of 4-2 and 5-4. In Friday's opener, freshman left-hander Brian Matusz allowed one run and was backed by solid defense as the Toreros took the opener. In his eight innings of work Matusz scattered five hits, allowed one run, walked four and struck out six. On Saturday, sophomore right hander Barry Enright allowed one earned run over eight innings and received some clutch ninth-inning relief help from freshman right hander Brett Hunter to help the Waves even the series. After San Diego scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth inning to take a 1-0 lead, Pepperdine rallied for three runs in the bottom half the frame to take a 3-1 lead. Facing an almost must-win situation in Sunday's series finale, the Waves were four times down to their last strike in the 10th inning before junior left fielder Luke Salas lined a three-run double down the right field line to give Pepperdine the dramatic 5-4 victory after trailing 4-2 with two outs and the bases empty.
SALAS NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior left fielder Luke Salas, who produced a game-winning three-run double in the bottom of the 10th inning against front-running and No. 25 San Diego on Sunday, was named the West Coast Conference's (WCC) Co-Player of the Week, the conference announced on Monday. Salas shared the honor with Sam Carter of Saint Mary's. Salas batted .438 (7-for-16) with three runs scored, a double and six RBI in four games and came up with Pepperdine's biggest hit of the season to date on Sunday. With the Waves trailing San Diego 4-2 with two outs and in jeopardy of falling two games out of first and into fifth place in the standings, Salas lined a bases-loaded double down the right field line on a 1-2 pitch that cleared the bases and gave Pepperdine a dramatic 5-4 victory and a series win over the Toreros. During the three-game series, Salas batted .455 (5-for-11) with two runs scored and four RBI.
ABOUT PORTLAND: Portland enters the weekend with a 13-27 overall record, including a 2-10 mark in WCC. The Pilots snapped a six-game losing streak on Tuesday with a 20-13 victory at No. 5 Oregon State as they took advantage of eight walks and nine Beavers errors. Portland is batting .280 as a team and has a collective ERA of 6.24. The Pilots have three players batting .300 or better and are led by senior Matthew Peters, who tops the club with a .371 and 35 RBI. Junior right hander Sean Sargent is the Pilots' top starter, posting a 3-8 record and 5.14 ERA. Head coach Chris Sperry is in the midst of his ninth season at Portland and has compiled an overall record to date of 152-310 (.329).
SERIES VERSUS PORTLAND: Friday's series opener between Pepperdine and Portland will mark the 49th meeting between the two programs with the Waves leading the all-time series, 42-6. Pepperdine swept all six games against the Pilots last season and has won 12 in a row dating back to the 2004 season.
FRIDAY'S STARTER: Senior left-hander Paul Coleman will make his 13th appearance and start of the season on Friday. He is currently 5-4 with a 2.69 ERA. Coleman has worked 83.2 innings, allowed 64 hits, 32 runs (25 earned), walked 28 and struck out a team-high 72. His last outing came on Friday against No. 25 San Diego when he suffered a loss after pitching seven innings, allowing six hits, four runs (three earned), walking three and striking out three. Coleman has 240 career strikeouts and is eighth on Pepperdine's all-time career strikeout list. He also has made 85 career appearances to rank fourth all-time in school history. Coleman has a career record of 17-12 and 4.10 ERA in 279.0 innings.
SATURDAY'S STARTER: Sophomore right hander Barry Enright will make his 15th appearance and 14th start of the season on Saturday. He is 8-1 with a 3.97 ERA. Enright is coming off another solid performance his last time out. He pitched eight-plus innings, allowed eight hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out two against Portland to record his eighth straight win. Five of his victories have come against No. 15 Long Beach State, No. 2 Oregon State, No. 8 Tulane, No. 4 Cal State Fullerton and No. 25 San Diego. On the season, he has pitched 81.2 innings, surrendered 92 hits, 43 runs (36 earned), walked 16 and struck out 48. Enright's career record stands at 18-2 with a 4.32 ERA while pitching 179.0 innings over 32 appearances.
SUNDAY'S STARTER: Senior right hander James Johnson will make his 15th appearance and seventh start of the season Sunday against Portland. He is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA. In 53.1 innings, Johnson has allowed 60 hits, 21 runs (20 earned), walked eight and struck out 34. His last outing came in a starting role against San Diego on Sunday and he earned a no-decision after pitching five innings, allowing nine hits, two runs and striking out four. He enters Sunday's start with a career record of 9-5 and a 4.33 ERA in 69 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.
ENRIGHT ON ROGER CLEMENS AWARD WATCH LIST: Sophomore right hander Barry Enright, who has posted wins over five ranked opponents this season, is one of 48 players named on the 2006 Roger Clemens Award Watch List. The award is given annually to college baseball's top pitcher. The initial list is comprised of players named to pre-season All-American teams by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA). Each weekly honoree of the NCBWA Pitcher of the Week will be added to the list, as will statistical leaders later in the season. First-round voting is scheduled to begin May 8 and will run through May 15. The announcement of 10 semifinalists is set for May 18. Voting on the award is conducted by all Division I head baseball coaches, a selection of national media who cover the college game, all past winners of the Rotary Smith Award and past finalists of the Roger Clemens Award. The winner of the Roger Clemens Award will be announced at a dinner at the Marriott Westchase Hotel in Houston, Texas, on July 12.
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 is two wins shy of his 100th career coaching victory. His record currently stands at 98-71 (.580) heading into Friday's series opener against Portland. 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 NEARING HIT RECORD: 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 April 15. He has continued to add to that total and is eight hits shy of tying Paul Faries (1984-87) for first place with 314.
URIBES ALL-TIME LEADER IN AT-BATS: David Uribes, who has started all 230 games of his career, is Pepperdine's all-time leader in at-bats with 935.
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 217 and is 11 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 230 games played and is two away from tying Brad Bierley (1982-85) for fourth place. He has played in every contest during his Pepperdine career, a streak of 230 straight. The senior second baseman is also tied with junior teammate Chad Tracy for sixth place on the career doubles list with 48 and is tied with Jere Longenecker (1980-83) for 10th all-time with 68 stolen bases.
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 for sixth place on the school's all-time doubles list with 48.
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 85. Coleman also is eighth on the school's all-time strikeout list with 240. He is nine shy of tying Greg Ramirez (2000-03) for sixth place.
MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: Pepperdine is 8-4 against ranked opponents...The Waves are currently batting .288 and have a 3.42 team ERA...Pepperdine ranks sixth in the West Coast Conference (WCC) in batting and first in pitching...The Waves are 18-6 when scoring first and 20-5 when holding the opponent to three runs or less...Pepperdine is 21-2 when leading after six innings, 23-2 when ahead after seven innings and 24-0 when leading after eight innings...The Waves are 5-5 in one-run games...Pepperdine is in the midst of a season-high 11-game stretch without hitting a home run and has just one homer in its last 14 games...Senior first baseman Nick Kliebert, who leads the Waves with a .364 average, has hit safely in 10 straight games, posting a .436 (17-for-39) average with five runs scored and four RBI...Senior second baseman David Uribes has hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games during which time he is batting .424 (36-for-85) with 18 runs scored and six doubles...Junior catcher Chad Tracy has had at least one hit in 35 of Pepperdine's 43 games this season...Senior left-hander Paul Coleman leads the pitching staff with 72 strikeouts in 83.2 innings over 12 appearances...On the season, he has allowed 64 hits, 32 runs (25 earned), walked 28, struck out 72 and limited opposing batters to a .218 average...Freshman right hander Brett Hunter tops the staff with 16 appearances, seven saves and a 2.51 ERA while striking out 37 in 43.0 innings and holding opponents to a .233 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 three victories shy of posting at least 30 wins for the 29th straight season. The Waves are currently 27-16 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 156-66 (.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 125-96-1 (.565) 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 1,736-1,217-22 (.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 841-449-11 (.651), including a 458-158-2 (.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 98-71 (.580) 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 722-277-12 (.720) and registering just one losing season in 33 years. Since 1997, the Waves are 199-95 (.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 17-8 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.