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Pepperdine Set to Meet San Francisco in WCC Championship Series

May 25, 2006

San Francisco, Calif. -

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THIS WEEK: The nationally-ranked Pepperdine baseball team seeks its third straight West Coast Conference (WCC) Championship Series title and automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament when it travels to San Francisco for the best-of-three series at Benedetti Diamond.

The series, which is being played outside of the Los Angeles area for the first time, gets underway on Friday beginning at 1 p.m. and continues Saturday at noon and, if necessary, concludes with a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games will be televised live by Fox Sports Net with Rich Cellini and John Jackson calling the action.

The series also will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.PepperdineSports.com and can be followed live via Gametracker.

A LOOK AT THE WAVES: Pepperdine concluded its regular season with a 38-18 overall record, including a 15-6 mark in WCC play. The Waves won a share of their 17th conference title, tying San Francisco for the top spot in the WCC.

Pepperdine enters the WCC Championship Series riding a five-game winning streak after closing out its regular season with a 2-1 victory over USC and a 10-5 win at UC Santa Barbara last week. The Waves are a season-high 20 games over .500 for the first time since 2001.

Pepperdine is making its eighth straight appearance in the WCC Championship Series and will be playing on the road for the third straight year. Overall, the Waves are 3-4 in conference championship series.

Pepperdine defeated Loyola Marymount in the best-of-three series in each of the last two years.

While Pepperdine is appearing in its eighth straight WCC Championship Series, San Francisco is making its first appearance after claiming a share of the conference title, the first in the more than 100-year history of the program. The Dons finished the regular season with a 37-19 record and have won nine in a row.

The winner of this weekend's series will be crowned the conference champion and earn the WCC's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament that begins Friday, June 2 at selected sites. The entire 64-team field will be announced live on ESPN beginning at 9:30 a.m. (PDT) on Monday, May 29.

THREE'S A CHARM: By winning a share of the regular-season title, Pepperdine has captured three straight WCC crowns for the first time since winning three in a row from 1991-93. The Waves also won three straight WCC titles, during 1974-76 campaigns and 1987-89 seasons.

NATIONAL POLLS: Pepperdine is ranked No. 20 by Baseball America, No. 25 by Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association (NCBWA) and No. 24 by USA Today. San Francisco is ranked No. 24 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 25 by Baseball America.

BOYD'S WORLD RANKINGS: Pepperdine is No. 16 in the latest Boyd's World RPI Rankings. It is an accurate simulation of the Ratings Power Index, the official NCAA measure of team quality used by the tournament selection committee. The Waves have played the 22nd toughest schedule in the country and have an 8-4 record against ranked opponents. Pepperdine has wins against No. 14 Long Beach State (2), No. 2 Oregon State (2), No. 8 Tulane (2), No. 4 Cal State Fullerton and No. 25 San Diego (2). Pepperdine's second win against Long Beach State came when the 49ers were not ranked.

PEPPERDINE EYES 23RD NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCE: Pepperdine is looking forward to its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance and fourth in a row. The Waves have reached the NCAA Championships in each of their two years under head coach Steve Rodriguez, advancing to the regional championship game both times. In 2004, Pepperdine lost to eventual World Series Champion Cal State Fullerton in the title game. Last season, after losing its opening to USC at the Long Beach Regional, the Waves won three in a row before falling to the Trojans in the championship game.

LAST WEEK'S RECAP: Pepperdine closed out regular-season play last week by defeating USC, 2-1, and recording a 10-5 win at UC Santa Barbara. Sophomore right hander Jason Dominguez allowed one run in five innings and was backed up by four scoreless innings of relief from senior Bryan Minkel and freshman Brett Hunter to lead the Waves over USC. Sophomore Danny Worth broke a 1-1 tie when he scored on a passed ball in the fifth inning. Worth had opened the frame with a walk and moved to third on a hit-and-run single through the right side by freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnaud. Sophomore center fielder Adrian Ortiz collected three hits and sophomore right hander Barry Enright pitched 5.2 innings to highlight Pepperdine's win over UC Santa Barbara. The Waves took advantage of 13 walks and two hit batsmen by Gauchos pitchingas they put at least one runner on base in every inning, scoring in five of them.

ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco enters this weekend with a 37-19 overall record and tied Pepperdine for the WCC regular-season title with a 15-6 mark. It marked the Dons' first-ever conference championship. San Francisco brings a nine-game winning streak into Friday's series-opener. The Dons are batting .292 as a team and have a collective ERA of 3.49, which ranks 26th in the country. San Francisco has six players batting .300 or better and are led by senior infielder Andrew Smith, who is batting .355. Junior Scott Cousins is second on the club with a .352 and is tied for the team-lead in home runs with six, joining senior outfielder Stefan Gartrell, who is batting .351 with 62 RBI. Cousins (4-2, 3.03), sophomore Aaron Poreda (7-4, 2.14) and senior Patrick McGuigan (11-2, 3.09) lead the Dons' starting rotation. Head coach Nino Giarratano is in the midst of his eighth season at San Francisco and has compiled an overall record to date of 220-231 (.488).

SERIES VERSUS SAN FRANCISCO: Friday's game between Pepperdine and San Francisco will mark the 119th meeting between the two programs with the Waves leading the all-time series, 92-26. The two teams met earlier this season at Eddy D. Field Stadium and the Dons won two of the three meetings.

LAST TIME VERSUS SAN FRANCISCO: Pepperdine lost two of three to San Francisco at Eddy D. Field Stadium earlier in the season. The Waves fell in the opener, 6-3, before evening the series with a 5-3 win on Saturday. The Dons won Sunday's rubber game, 2-0. In Friday's opener, USF received eight solid innings from junior left-hander Scott Cousins, who scattered seven hits, three runs (one earned), walked one and struck out six. The Dons were spurred on by a four-run third inning to take a 4-0 lead. On Saturday, junior Justin Tellam doubled home two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 3-3 that lifted the Waves to the win. Freshman right hander Brett Hunter pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory. Senior right hander Patrick McGuigan tossed a complete-game six-hitter to lift the Dons to a series-clinching win in the series finale. McGuigan, who did not walk a batter and struck out three. USF scored both its runs in the third inning against Freshman Bryce Stowell, who was making his first career start.

FRIDAY'S STARTER: Sophomore right hander Barry Enright will make his 19th appearance and 18th start of the season on Friday. He is 12-1 with a 4.01 ERA. Enright's 12 wins are a single-season career-high, tie for most wins in the country and eighth on Pepperdine's single-season wins list. The sophomore right hander has equaled his career-high for appearances and has established personal-bests for innings pitched (107.2) and strikeouts (59). Enright last worked on Wednesday at Saint Mary's where he pitched 5.2 innings, allowed eight hits, four runs, walked one and struck out two in picking up his 12th straight win and improving his career mark to 22-2. 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 107.2 innings, surrendered 123 hits, 55 runs (48 earned), walked 19 and struck out 59. Enright's career record stands at 22-2 with a 4.30 ERA while pitching 107.2 innings over 36 appearances. Earlier this season, Enright pitched eight, allowed three runs, struck out and did not walk a batter in his only appearance against San Francisco this season.

SATURDAY'S STARTER: Senior left-hander Paul Coleman will make his 16th appearance and start of the season on Saturday. He is currently 6-5 with a 2.99 ERA. Coleman has worked 99.1 innings, allowed 80 hits, 40 runs (33 earned), walked 34 and struck out a team-high 86. His last outing came on May 13 at Saint Mary's where he pitched 4.2 innings, allowed eight hits, four runs, walked one and struck out one and did not receive a decision. Coleman has 254 career strikeouts rank sixth on Pepperdine's all-time career list. He also is third Pepperdine's career appearance list with 88. Coleman has an 18-13 career record with a 4.12 ERA. In his first start against San Francisco earlier this year, Coleman suffered a loss after pitching 5.1 innings, allowing five hits, four runs, walking two and striking out five.

SUNDAY'S STARTER: Senior right hander James Johnson will make his 18th appearance and 10th start of the season Sunday, if necessary. He is 6-1 with a 2.86 ERA. In 79.0 innings, Johnson has allowed 76 hits, 27 runs (26 earned), walked 13 and struck out 47. He is coming off the best outing of his career after pitching his first career complete-game two weeks ago at Saint Mary's that earned him WCC Pitcher of the Week. Johnson surrendered five hits, two runs, walked three and struck out three. In his last three games, Johnson has worked into the ninth inning each time, posting a 3-0 record and 2.10 ERA. He has struck out 13 in 25.2 innings and limited opposing batters to a .178 average. Johnson's one previous appearance against San Francisco this season came on April 7 when he worked 1.2 innings of relief, allowed two hits, one run and struck out one.

PEPPERDINE IN THE WCC CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: Pepperdine has compiled a 9-10 record in seven previous WCC Championship Series while posting series wins over Gonzaga (2-1, 2001) and Loyola Marymount (2-0, 2004; 2-1 2005). The Waves have faced LMU on four occasions, all at Page Stadium, and have a 2-2 series record against the Lions. Pepperdine has hosted the WCC Championship Series three times and is 1-2. The Waves won their first series in 2001, defeating Gonzaga in three games, and lost back-to-back three-game series to San Diego in 2002 and 2003.

WCC CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RESULTS: 1999: LMU 3-2; PEP 18-2; LMU 7-6. 2000: LMU 19-5, 6-2. 2001: GON 7-6; PEP 10-0; PEP 8-5. 2002: USD 7-3, PEP15-4, USD 5-3. 2003: USD 8-2; PEP 7-6 (10); USD 3-1. 2004: PEP 5-1, 12-10. 2005: LMU 7-3; PEP 7-5; PEP 18-8.

WAVES POST 29TH STRAIGHT 30-WIN SEASON: For the 29th consecutive season, Pepperdine has won at least 30 games. The Waves are currently 38-18. 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.

DOMINGUEZ NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore right hander Jason Dominguez, who picked up a win over USC last week, was named the West Coast Conference (WCC) Pitcher of the Week, the conference announced on Monday. Making his fourth start of the season, Dominguez worked five innings, allowed six hits, an unearned run, walked two and struck out one in a 2-1 Pepperdine victory. The win improved his record to 5-1 on the season.

TRACY NAMED SEMI-FINALIST FOR JOHNNY BENCH AWARD: Junior All-American catcher Chad Tracy was named one of 10 semi-finalists for the 2006 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced on Thursday. The award is presented annually at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet to the nation's top collegiate catcher. A national voting committee comprised of sportswriter, sportscasters, Division I coaches and scouts will be sent comprehensive biographies on each candidate at the end of May to determine the three finalists, who will be announced on June 1. A final vote among the national selection committee will occur during the College World Series. All three finalists and their coaches will be invited to Wichita for the Ninth Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 28 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Wichita. Hall of Famer Johnny Bench will present the award to the recipient.

TRACY NAMED SEMI-FINALIST FOR BROOKS WALLACE AWARD: Junior catcher Chad Tracy was named one of 30 semi-finalists for 2006 Brooks Wallace Award, the College Baseball Foundation announced on Monday. The award is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate baseball player. Nebraska third baseman Alex Gordon won the award in 2005. A preseason All-American, Tracy is currently batting .323 with five home runs and 41 RBI. The list will be trimmed to three finalists on June 15 and the winner be announced on July 3 during the annual award banquet in Lubbock, TX.

ENRIGHT ON ROGER CLEMENS AWARD WATCH LIST: Sophomore right hander Barry Enright, who has posted wins over five ranked opponents this season, was 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 10 semifinalists were announced on May 18 and Enright was not among them. 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 COLLECTS 100TH CAREER WIN: Pepperdine head coach Steve Rodriguez collected his 100th career coaching victory following the Waves' 10-2 win over Portland on April 30. His record currently stands at 109-73 (.599). He is 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 BREAKS HIT RECORD: Pepperdine senior second baseman David Uribes broke the Pepperdine and West Coast Conference (WCC) all-time career hit record two weeks ago after collecting two hits to pass former Wave Paul Faries (1984-87), who concluded his career with 314. Uribes increased his total to 328.

URIBES ALL-TIME LEADER IN AT-BATS: David Uribes, who started all 241 games of his career prior to sustaining a season-ending knee injury on May 15, is Pepperdine's all-time leader in at-bats with 986.

MORE URIBES: David Uribes became Pepperdine's all-time runs scored leader two weeks ago. He moved past current Waves assistant coach Rick Hirtensteiner (1986-89) to become the all-time leader with 232, breaking Hirtensteiner's previous mark of 228. Uribes ranks third in WCC history with 240. Uribes is also third on Pepperdine's all-time games played list with 241, seventh on the career doubles list with 51 and is ninth all-time with 72 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 is third on the school's all-time doubles list with 55.

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 third all-time with 88. Coleman also is sixth on the school's all-time strikeout list with 254. He is eight shy of tying Jacob Barrack (2001-04) for fifth place.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: Pepperdine is 8-4 against ranked opponents...The Waves are currently batting .301 and have a 3.51 team ERA...Pepperdine ranks second in the West Coast Conference (WCC) in batting and pitching...The Waves are 26-7 when scoring first and 25-5 when holding the opponent to three runs or less...Pepperdine is 31-2 when leading after six innings, 33-2 when ahead after seven innings and 35-0 when leading after eight innings...The Waves are 7-5 in one-run games...Prior to his injury, senior second baseman David Uribes led the Waves and was third in the WCC with a .374...He also tops the club with 53 runs, a career-high 85 hits and 22 stolen bases...He was batting .425 (34-for-80) with 20 runs scored over his last 18 games...Sophomore center fielder Adrian Ortiz, who is in the midst of a career-high 14-game hitting streak, ranks second on the club with a .364 batting mark and is fourth on the team with 60 hits despite missing 17 games with a wrist injury...During his 14-game hitting streak, Ortiz is batting .455 (30-for-66) with 13 runs and 13 RBI...Senior first baseman Nick Kliebert ranks third on the Waves with a .360 average...Freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnaud has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, posting a .405 average (15-for-37) with 11 runs, six doubles, a home run, 10 RBI, .649 slugging percentage and .511 on-base percentage.

PITCHING NOTES: Pepperdine ranks No. 22 in the country in ERA (3.51)...The Waves 10th in the nation in fielding percentage (.975) and tied for 10th in double plays turned per game (1.14)...Senior James Johnson and sophomore Barry Enright have been solid for the Waves over their last 11 starts combined. The two have combined to post a 10-0 record and 2.54 ERA in 11 starts. Johnson is 4-0 with a 2.19 ERA while Enright has registered a 6-0 record and 2.85 ERA...Enright's 12 wins tie for most in the country...Freshman right hander Brett Hunter is tied for fifth on Pepperdine's single-season saves list and ranks 27th in the country with 10 ...Hunter has made a team-leading 25 appearances and has 44 strikeouts in 51.1 innings...Senior left-hander Paul Coleman leads the pitching staff with 86 strikeouts in 99.1 innings...Pepperdine's three weekend starters (Enright, Coleman, Johnson) are a combined 24-7 with a 3.37 ERA in 50 appearances.

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.

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.

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. Pepperdine and San Francisco tied for the regular-season conference title with 15-6 records and will play a best-of-three championship to determine the WCC's champion and automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The three-game series will be held at San Francisco's Benedetti Diamond beginning Friday, May 26.

WAVES CAPTURE 17TH WCC CHAMPIONSHIP: Pepperdine captured a share of its 17th West Coast Conference (WCC) title after sweeping Saint Mary's over the weekend. It marked the Waves second straight title after taking two of three from Loyola Marymount in 2005. Pepperdine's 17 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, including this year. 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 and will now make its eighth appearance in two weeks. 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 1,747-1,219-22 (.588). 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 29 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 13 of the last 22 league championships. Dating back to the start of the 1985 campaign, Pepperdine has compiled a cumulative record of 852-451-11 (.652), including a 466-159-2 (.745) mark against league opponents.

Steve Rodriguez: Steve Rodriguez, a former collegiate All-American and a member of Pepperdine's 1992 College World Series Championship team, 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 109-73 (.599) 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 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 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 726-278-12 (.720) and registering just one losing season in 34 years. Since 1997, the Waves are 203-96 (.679) at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The Waves were 9-12 in the inaugural season of 1973 and since then have produced 32 winning seasons in the last 34 years, including a 21-9 record in so far in 2006.

WAVES ON THE ROAD: Since 1997, Waves are 155-138 (.529) 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 seven of the last 10 seasons. Pepperdine is 17-9 in 2006.

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.