May 29, 2007
Malibu, Calif. -
THIS WEEK: The nationally-ranked Pepperdine baseball team will make its school-record tying fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance after receiving an at-large bid to the 64-team NCAA Championships, the NCAA announced on Monday. The Waves earned the No. 3 seed in the Long Beach Regional and will face UCLA Friday at Blair Field in Long Beach.
Pepperdine (35-20) will face the No. 2 seeded Bruins (30-26) at 3 p.m. Host Long Beach State (37-18), the regional's No. 1 seed, will meet No. 4 seed Illinois-Chicago (34-19) at 7 p.m.
Two games will be played on Friday, Saturday (3 p.m. and 7. p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m. and 6 p.m.), with a possible winner-take-all game on Monday beginning at 6 p.m.
Tickets will go on sale Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m. and can be purchased through the Pepperdine ticket office by calling (310) 506-4935 or at www.longbeachstate.com. Only all-session tickets can be purchased prior to the start of the regional. Individual game tickets can be purchased the day of the game.
All-session super box tickets are $90, reserved box seats are $70 and general admission tickets are $50.
The winner of the Long Beach Regional will face the San Diego Regional winner beginning either June 8 or 9 at a site to be determined.
WAVES ON THE INTERNET: This weekend's NCAA Regional can be heard live on the Internet at www.PepperdineSports.com.
NATIONAL POLLS: Pepperdine begins play this week ranked No. 24 by Baseball America, No. 26 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and No. 30 by Collegiate Baseball. The Waves are not ranked in the current ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. UCLA and Illinois-Chicago are unranked, while Long Beach State is No. 16 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, No. 19 by the NCBWA and No. 21 by Baseball America.
Long Beach Regional Schedule
Friday, June 1
Game 1: No. 3 Pepperdine (35-20) vs. No. 2 UCLA (30-26); 3 p.m.
Game 2: No. 1 Long Beach State (37-18) vs. No. 4 Illinois Chicago (34-19)
Saturday, June 2
Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2; 3 p.m.
Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2; 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 3:
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4; 2 p.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner 5; 6 p.m.
Monday, June 4
Game 7: If necessary; 6 p.m.
PEPPERDINE MAKES 24TH NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCE: Pepperdine is making its 24th NCAA Tournament appearance and school-record tying fifth straight. The Waves have reached the NCAA Championships every year under fourth-year head coach Steve Rodriguez, advancing to the regional championship game in each of the last three seasons. In 2004, Pepperdine lost to eventual World Series Champion Cal State Fullerton in the title game and in 2005, after losing its opening game to USC at the Long Beach Regional, won three in a row before falling to the Trojans in the championship game. Last season, hosting a regional for the first time in program history, the Waves posted wins over Missouri and UCLA and before losing twice to the Tigers.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY: In 23 trips to the post-season, Pepperdine has an all-time record of 53-48 (.525), 7-5 mark in three seasons under head coach Steve Rodriguez. The Waves advanced to the College World Series in 1979 and 1992, finishing third during its trip to Omaha, Nebraska, and winning the national championship in 1992. Pepperdine, which is making its seventh postseason appearance in the last nine years, have advanced to the regional championship four times (1999, 2004, 2005 and 2006), losing twice to USC, once to Cal State Fullerton and Missouri. This year's Long Beach Regional marks the seventh straight the Waves have played in the greater Los Angeles area. Pepperdine has played twice at USC (1999, 2001), three at Long Beach State (2003, 2005, 2007), Cal State Fullerton (2004) and last year in Malibu.
WAVES POST ANOTHER 30-WIN SEASON: Pepperdine's victory over Santa Clara on April 22 marked the 30th of the season and extended the Waves' streak of 30-wins seasons to 30, dating back to 1978. The streak includes 11 40-win campaigns and two seasons (1979, 195) of 50 or more wins. With 30 wins in the bank, Pepperdine also is seeking its third straight 40-win season, which would tie for the most in school history. Pepperdine registered three straight 40 win campaigns from 1991-93 while compiling a cumulative record of 100-45-2 (.687) and claiming the national title in 1992. Since 2005, the Waves have an overall record to date of 118-64 (.648).
PORTLAND RECAP: Pepperdine concluded the regular season with a three-game sweep at Portland May 18-20. The Waves received outstanding pitching the three games as they limited the Pilots to a .208 average and posted a 1.00 ERA. Sophomore left-hander Robert Dickmann set the trend for the series as he started the opener and allowed three hits, walked two and struck out four while pitching six shutout innings. Junior Adam Olbrychowski earned his first career save as he pitched the final three innings. Five Pepperdine pitchers combined to limit Portland to two runs, scattered eight hits and struck out nine on Saturday. Sophomore Brett Hunter started the game and was relieved in the second inning after he was struck in the right forearm by a line drive. In the series, finale, junior All-American Barry Enright notched a complete-game victory, scattering seven hits, allowing two runs (one earned), walking one and striking out eight. Offensively, the Waves were led by Donald Brown (6-12) and Chase d'Arnaud (5-13), who batted .500 and .385 in the series, respectively.
ABOUT UCLA: UCLA enters regional play with a 30-26 overall record, finishing third in the Pacific-10 Conference with a 14-10 mark. The Bruins closed out the regular season with losing two of three to Oregon State over the weekend. UCLA is batting .295 as a team and have a collective ERA of 5.07. The Bruins have six players batting .300 or better and are led by freshman outfielder and Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year Gabe Cohen, who is hitting .357 with a 10 home runs and 33 RBI. UCLA's pitching staff is led by senior right hander and All-Pac-10 selection Tyson Brummett, who is 9-5 with a 3.60 ERA. Head coach John Savage is in his third season and has guided the Bruins to an overall record to date of 78-92 (.459).
SERIES VERSUS UCLA: Friday's contest will mark the 58th meeting between Pepperdine and UCLA since 1954 and the Bruins lead the all-time series, 47-35-3. The two teams met twice earlier this season and UCLA captured both meetings, defeating the Waves 6-2 on April 17 at Jackie Robinson Stadium and posting a 4-1 win in Malibu on May 8. Pepperdine won two of three games played between the two teams in 2006, including a 6-0 victory in the NCAA Malibu Regional. The two teams have met twice in regional play, with UCLA registering a 21-5 victory at the 1989 NCAA West II Regional in Tempe, Arizona, and Pepperdine capturing last year's meeting. The Waves are 2-2 against Pac-10 opponents in 2007, sweeping two games from USC and losing both meetings to the Bruins.
ABOUT LONG BEACH STATE: Long Beach State enters this week's regional with a 37-18 overall, including a 15-6 record in Big West Conference play. The 49ers, who finished second in the Big West, captured two of three games at Cal State Fullerton over the weekend. Long Beach State is batting .298 as a team and has a collective ERA of 3.56. The 49ers have seven players batting .300 or better and are led by sophomore first baseman Shane Peterson, who tops the club with a .344 average. Long Beach State's pitching staff is anchored by junior right hander Andrew Liebel, who is 8-3 with a 2.83 ERA. Head coach Mike Weathers is in his sixth season leading the 49ers and has compiled an overall record to date of 223-129 (.633).
SERIES VERSUS LONG BEACH STATE: Pepperdine and Long Beach State have met 112 times since 1954 and the Waves lead the series, 57-53-1. The 49ers captured both meetings this season, defeating Pepperdine 10-7 in 11 innings on February 6 and registering a 6-5 win at Blair Field on April 10. The Waves have won four of the last six meetings against Long Beach State, dating back to 2005, including a 6-3 win in the 2005 Long Beach Regional. The two programs have met four times in postseason play and the 49ers hold a 3-1 edge. Pepperdine has a 5-5 record against Big West opponents in 2007.
ABOUT ILLINOIS-CHICAGO: Illinois-Chicago enters regional action with a 34-19 overall and gained an automatic bid after finishing 21-6 in the Horizon League and winning conference's postseason tournament. The Flames are batting .294 as a team and have a collective ERA of 4.04. Illinois-Chicago has four players batting .300 or better and is led by senior outfielder Larry Gempp, Jr., who tops the club with a .397 average, seven home runs and 54 RBI. Senior Zach Peterson is the Flames top pitcher, registering a 7-3 record and 3.59 ERA. Head coach Mike Dee is in his ninth season leading the Flames and has compiled an overall record to date of 303-199 (.603).
SERIES VERSUS ILLINOIS-CHICAGO: Pepperdine and Illinois-Chicago have never met in baseball.
GAME 1 STARTER: Junior right hander Barry Enright will make his 18th appearance and start of the season against UCLA. The junior All-American is 12-4 with a 1.73 ERA. In a career and team-leading 125.0 innings, Enright has allowed 110 hits, 32 runs (24 earned), walked 13 and struck out a single-season career-high 85. Enright has worked 7.0 innings or more 14 of his 17 starts. His last start was a complete-game effort at Portland (5-20) where he allowed seven hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out eight. It marked his second complete game of the season. Enright, who was a unanimous All-West Coast Conference selection, is a semi-finalist for the Roger Clemens Award, Dick Howser Trophy and USA Golden Spikes Award. He enters regional play with second on Pepperdine's all-time career wins list and fourth in WCC annals with a 35-7 career record.
ENRIGHT VERSUS LONG BEACH REGIONAL FIELD: Friday's start will mark Barry Enright's first career appearance against UCLA. He has a 2-0 record and 2.57 ERA in two career appearances against Long Beach State. In 14 innings, he has allowed 11 hits, five runs, four walks and struck out five. Enright kept the Waves alive in the 2005 Long Beach Regional as he went seven innings, allowed six hits, three runs, walked one and struck out to help Pepperdine to a 6-3 win. He made a weekday start against the 49ers in 2006 and came away victorious after pitching seven innings, allowing five hits, two runs, three walks and striking out four. Enright has never faced Illinois-Chicago.
GAME 2 STARTER: Sophomore left-hander Robert Dickmann will make his 17th appearance and start of the season in Game 2 on Saturday. He is 6-4 with a 3.70 ERA. Dickmann has established career-highs for innings pitched (82.2) and strikeouts (47) while allowing 44 runs (39 earned) and walking 29. He last pitched at Portland on May 18 and picked up a win after pitching six shutout innings, allowing three hits, walking two and striking out four. He picked up his first career win against Fresno State on February 25 after pitching 5.1 innings. Dickmann was 0-0 with a 10.38 ERA while making six relief appearances in 2006.
DICKMANN VERSUS LONG BEACH REGIONAL FIELD: Robert Dickmann has never faced Long Beach State or Illinois-Chicago. His only career appearance came against UCLA came on May 8 and he pitched three perfect innings, striking out three.
GAME 3 STARTER: Sophomore right hander Brett Hunter has made 19 appearances, including 14 starts. He is currently 6-5 with a 3.94 ERA and has two saves. In 82.1 innings of work, he has allowed 69 hits, 43 runs (36 earned) walked 47 and struck out a career-high 76 batters. Hunter last pitched at Portland (5-19) and worked 1-plus innings, allowing three hits, one run and striking out three. He left in the second inning after taking a line drive off his right forearm. Hunter turned in a career performance against Saint Mary's (3-31) when he logged a career-high 8.0 innings, allowed four hits, a run, walked two and struck out a career-high nine batters to earn the victory. As a starter, Hunter is 6-2 with a 3.22 ERA while working 72.2 innings. The Waves are 11-3 in Hunter's 14 starts. The sophomore right hander opened the season as the Waves' closer and registered a save in the season-opener at UNLV. Hunter, a preseason All-American, went 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 11 saves a freshman in 2006.
HUNTER VERSUS UCLA: Brett Hunter's only career appearance against UCLA came on May 8 when he pitched one inning of relief and allowed three hits, three runs, walked two and struck out two. He has three relief appearances against Long Beach State and is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA. In 6.2 innings, he has allowed four hits, three runs, walked two and struck out four. Hunter was the losing pitcher while pitching in relief against the 49ers on February 6, working 3.2 innings, allowing four hits, three runs, walking two and striking out four. He has never pitched against Illinois-Chicago.
PEPPERDINE VERSUS NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD: Pepperdine has an overall record of 12-13 against teams in this year's NCAA Tournament and has at least one win against eight of the 12 teams. The list of teams include Long Beach State (0-2), UCLA (0-2), San Diego (0-3), Fresno State (3-0), Minnesota (2-1), Cal State Fullerton (1-1), Wichita State (2-1), UC Irvine (1-1), Oklahoma State (1-1), North Carolina State (1-0), Western Carolina (1-0) and East Carolina (0-1).
WINNING SERIES: Pepperdine has been impressive in series this season, registering a 10-3 record in three-game series, including four sweeps. The Waves also split a two-game series at No. 16 Oklahoma State in March. Prior to being swept by San Diego (4/27-4/30) and losing two of three to Gonzaga (5/11-5/13), Pepperdine`s only series loss was its season-opening three-game set at UNLV.
ENRIGHT NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR ROGER CLEMENS AWARD: Junior All-American Barry Enright, who is putting together an outstanding season, was voted one of 10 semifinalist for the Roger Clemens Award, given annually to college baseball's top pitcher, it was announced on Thursday. Joining Enright on the list are Adrian Alaniz of Texas, Preston Guilmet (Arizona), Bryan Henry (Florida State), Brian Matusz (San Diego), Adam Mills (Charlotte), Kyle Nicholson (Texas A&M), David Price (Vanderbilt), Nick Schmidt (Arkansas), and Jacob Thompson of Virginia. The second round of voting will begin on May 28, with the announcement of the three finalists set for June 7. This year's award will be presented July 11 at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Houston. Enright enters the final weekend of the regular season with an 11-4 overall record and an impressive 1.78 ERA while making 16 starts. His win total ties for fourth in the country while his ERA ranks 13th nationally.
MORE RECOGNITION FOR ENRIGHT: Junior All-American Barry Enright, who is putting together one of the best seasons in Pepperdine history, continues to receive national recognition. Already named the preseason watch list for the Brooks Wallace Award, presented to the nation's top player, Enright was named one of 50 semifinalists for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award two weeks ago. Enright becomes the first player in Pepperdine history to be considered for the USA Baseball Gold Spikes Award. This year will mark the 30th consecutive year that the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award has been presented to the nation's premier amateur baseball player. The winner's name will be announced on June 29, 2007, during the 2007 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Show presented by Major League Baseball. The Golden Spikes Award has been presented each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship.
Enright also was named one of 16 semi-finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy that is presented by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The Dick Howser Trophy goes to the top player in college baseball and is given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop an former major league manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, and is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, and qualities exemplified by Dick Howser's life.
HUNTER SELECTED TO USA BASEBALL NATIONAL TEAM: Sophomore right hander Brett Hunter, who was tabbed a pre-season All-American and has been a mainstay in the Pepperdine starting rotation this season, was one of 11 players selected to the 2007 USA Baseball National Team, it was announced by USA Baseball on Wednesday. The announcement of the final nine players and two alternates will be made in June. Hunter, who was moved into the starting rotation the second week of the season, has posted a 6-5 record, 3.87 ERA, two saves and struck out a career-high 73 batters in 81.1 innings. In 13 starts, the Waves right hander has a 6-2 record, and 3.14 ERA while striking out 60 and limiting opposing batters to a .202 average in 71.2 innings. Hunter becomes the seventh Pepperdine player to represent the country as members of the USA National Baseball Team. The 2007 USA Baseball National Team will open its season in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) in preparation for four international series and two international events this summer. Team USA will play in the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the World Port Tournament in The Netherlands. The USA Baseball National Team will also host the 36th Annual USA vs. Japan Collegiate Championship Series and an Inaugural Friendship Series versus the Chinese National Team.
WORTH 2ND ON DOUBLES LIST: Junior shortstop Danny Worth has 59 career doubles to rank second all-time in Pepperdine history. He is one shy of tying Scott Shockey (1986-89) for the all-time record. The doubles total also ties for ninth all-time in WCC history. Worth currently leads the Waves with 19 doubles on the season. He totaled 24 in 2006, two shy of the single-season record of 26 set by Dane Sardinha in 1999.
WORTH THE IRON MAN: Since making his collegiate debut, February 5, 2005 versus UC Santa Barbara, junior shortstop Danny Worth has played in 181 consecutive games and made 179 consecutive starts dating back to February 12, 2005 when he made his first career start against Cal Poly. His 181 games played are second on the Waves to senior left fielder Luke Salas, who has appeared in 233 games and started 213. Salas is sixth on the program's games played list and fifth in at-bats with 814.
ENRIGHT 2ND ON CAREER WINS LIST: Junior Barry Enright holds a 35-7 career record to rank second on Pepperdine's all-time wins list. His victory total ties for fourth on the WCC career wins list. His .833 winning percentage ranks first all-time just ahead of Steve Duda (1990-93), who ranks first on the career wins list with a 44-9 (.830) record.
MORE ENRIGHT: Junior right hander Barry Enright has made 17 starts this season to bring his career total to 55, placing him second on Pepperdine's all-time starts list. Steve Duda (1990-93) is first with 62 starts.
HUNTER TIED FOR SIXTH IN CAREER SAVES: In less than two seasons, sophomore Brett Hunter already has cracked Pepperdine's Top 10 in career saves. Hunter posted 11 saves as a freshman last season and with two saves this year is tied with Steve Montgomery (1990-92) for sixth place with 13. He is three saves of tying for third all-time.
DOMINGUEZ CLOSES: After starting the second game of the season at UNLV, junior right hander Jason Dominguez has taken over the closer's role previously held by sophomore Brett Hunter, who was inserted into the starting rotation. He has made 27 relief appearances, earned 12 saves and has a 2-2 record and 2.29 ERA while throwing 35.1 innings and limiting opposing batters to a .233 average. The junior right hander has 14 career saves to rank fifth on Pepperdine's all-time saves list. His 12 saves this season lead the WCC, tie for 11th in the country rank the Waves' single-season list.
SALAS, WORTH 200-100 MEN: Senior left fielder Luke Salas reached the 200 hit plateau against UC Davis earlier this season. He enters NCAA Regional play with a .303 career average. Salas, who has 249 career hits, is in seventh place on Pepperdine's all-time career hits list. The Westlake Village resident also has 111 career RBI. Junior shortstop Danny Worth has also joined the 200-100 club with 234 hits and 108 RBI. He is three hits shy of moving into a tie for 10th place on Pepperdine's all-time hits list.
ORTIZ FIFTH ON ALL-TIME TRIPLES LIST: With four triples this season, junior center fielder Adrian Ortiz ranks fifth on the Waves' all-time career triples list. His 12 triples tie place him two behind Ralph Sheffield (1982-83), who totaled 14 for his career.
MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The Waves are 7-10 against ranked opponents...After beginning the season 1-3, Pepperdine is 34-17 over its last 51 games...Pepperdine is batting .303 as a team and has a collective ERA of 3.24...The Waves are second in the WCC in batting and first in ERA...Pepperdine's .303 average ties for the ninth-highest in program history...The Waves 3.24 ERA ranks as the 10th-best all-time and is the lowest since the 1996 staff posted a 3.16 ERA...The 22 home runs hit by the Waves tie for the 11th fewest in program history and the lowest total since the 1986 club hit 17...Pepperdine has walked just 168, the lowest total since the 1976 team walked 145 times...The Waves have struck out 304, the 10th-highest total in program history...The 17 saves by the Pepperdine bullpen is the fourth-highest total in Waves history...Pepperdine's .973 fielding percentage ties for the fourth-highest mark in team history...The Waves' 58 errors are the third-fewest in history while their 66 double plays turned rank eighth all-time...Pepperdine has been a dominant team at home, registering a 23-9 record, batting .316 and posting a 2.63 ERA...Meanwhile, the Waves are 12-11 on the road, batting .285 and possessing a 4.14 ERA...Pepperdine is 21-13 against non-conference opponents and is batting .315 and with a 3.39 team ERA...In WCC Play, the Waves batted .282 and posted a collective ERA of 3.00...Pepperdine starting pitching has compiled a 26-12 record and 2.94 ERA while logging 309.0 innings...The Waves' bullpen has posted an 9-8 mark and 3.74 ERA...The Waves have posted at least 20 home wins for the 24th time in 35 seasons dating back to 1973 when Eddy D. Field Stadium opened...Pepperdine has had four players (Worth - 18, Chase d'Arnaud - 16, Ortiz - 14 and Luke Salas - 11) register hitting streaks of 11 or more games.
THREE WAVES NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Junior right hander Barry Enright, sophomore reliever Brett Hunter and junior shortstop Danny Worth were named preseason All-Americans. Enright received All-American recognition by Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) while Hunter and Worth were recognized by the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball, respectively. Enright went 13-2 and posted a 4.05 ERA in 2006 while Hunter put together an outstanding rookie campaign as he went 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 11 saves a year ago. Worth batted a career-best .310 with 24 doubles and 38 RBI as a sophomore in 2006.
COLEMAN RECEIVES JOHN SCOLINOS AWARD: Paul Coleman, who concluded his career tied for second in appearances, was honored with the 2007 John Scolinos Distinguished Player Award following the Pepperdine baseball team's annual alumni game on January 27. The award, in its third year, is given annually to a Pepperdine baseball player in recognition of exemplary behavior during a season or career in the name of the legendary Scolinos, who was Pepperdine's head coach from 1946-1960. The recipient will be honored for demonstrating strong character traits, including humility, resourcefulness, loyalty, honesty, work ethic, Christian behavior and sportsmanship, which contribute to outstanding performance and dedicated efforts both on and beyond the baseball diamond. Cory Brightwell was the first recipient of the award in 2005 and Steve Kleen was the 2006 recipient.
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 177-74 (.705) over the last nine seasons, an average of 19.7 wins per season, captured seven divisional crowns, four conference titles and appeared in the WCC Championship Series eight of nine years. The Waves had their run of eight consecutive conference championship series appearances snapped this season. Over that same time period, San Diego has the second-best league mark, registering a 148-102-1 (.592) record, claiming two divisional titles and winning two WCC Championship Series. The Toreros won this this year's regular-season title and will host Gonzaga in the WCC Championship Series.
SIX WAVES ON 2007 MLB OPENING DAY ROSTERS: With the opening of the 2007 Major League Baseball season this week, six former Pepperdine baseball players are on Opening Day rosters. Former 2001 All-Americans Dan Haren and Noah Lowry are two of five former Waves pitchers on big league rosters. Joining Haren and Lowry, who play for the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants, respectively, are David Newhan (New York Mets), Will Ohman (Chicago Cubs), Matt Wise (Milwaukee) and Randy Wolf (Los Angeles Dodgers). Pepperdine has had a total of 30 former players reach the major leagues since 1968 when Gail Hopkins joined the Chicago White Sox.
FIVE WAVES SELECTED IN 2006 MLB DRAFT: For the 32nd consecutive year, Pepperdine had at least one player taken in Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft in 2006. Junior catcher Chad Tracy was chosen in the third round by the Texas Rangers, while senior left-hander Paul Coleman was a 12th round selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Junior Justin Tellam was picked in the 14th round by the Houston Astros, senior first baseman Nick Kliebert was drafted in the 25th round by the San Diego Padres and senior second baseman David Uribes was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 32nd round.
WAVES 17-TIME WCC CHAMPIONS: Pepperdine has captured its 17 West Coast Conference (WCC) titles dating back to 1974. The Waves had their streak of three straight conference titles snapped this season when they finished third in the WCC standings. 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 23 league championships. Additionally, since the WCC began sponsoring a championship series, Pepperdine has appeared in a conference-high eight. Last year's WCC title was the Waves' third straight and fourth overall since 1999. Pepperdine also captured the conference title in 2001 when it went 42-18 and finished the year with a national Top 20 ranking. Pepperdine captured back-to-back titles for the first time since winning three straight between 1991 and 1993.
THIRTEEN WAVES NAMED TO WCC 40TH ANNIVERSARY TEAM: Pepperdine placed a conference-high 13 players on the West Coast Conference's (WCC)/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Team that was announced by the league office on Wednesday. The 40-man team was selected by a 30-member voting panel comprised of WCC administrators, league institutions, national collegiate baseball writers and local media members. Those eligible for nomination were student-athletes that participated in the sport of baseball at one of the WCC's eight current member institutions from 1968 to 2006. Also eligible for nomination were student-athletes who participated for any of the five WCC institutions that took part in Northern California Baseball Association (NCBA) and Southern California Baseball Association (SCBA) play from 1977 to 1984. The 13 Pepperdine players named to the team include 10 All-Americans, three Freshman All-Americans, one Academic All-American, five WCC Players of the Year, five conference Pitchers of the Year and three Freshmen of the Year. Additionally, 10 players went on to play Major League Baseball. The list of Waves named to the team consists of Patrick Ahearne, Steve Duda, Mike Fetters, Dan Haren, Rick Hirtensteiner, Mark Lee, Noah Lowry, Steve Montgomery, Steve Rodriguez, Dane Sardinha, Mike Scott, David Uribes and Randy Wolf.
WAVES AMONG TOP TEAMS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Since 1979, Pepperdine is the second-winningest program in Southern California, trailing only Cal State Fullerton, heading into the 2007 season. The Waves have registered a 1,089-567 (.657) record and made 17 NCAA Tournament appearances during that time. Cal State Fullerton has compiled an overall record of 1,254-526 (.704) and made 23 NCAA appearances. Pepperdine's 17 NCAA Tournament appearances are second behind the Titans.
THE PROGRAM: In the midst of its 68th season of intercollegiate competition, the Pepperdine baseball program has compiled an all-time mark to date of 1,787-1,251-22 (.587). The Waves have advanced to the NCAA Championships on 23 occasions, and Pepperdine has participated at the College World Series twice--finishing third in 1979 and winning the national title in 1992. Pepperdine has won 30 or more games in each of the last 30 seasons dating back to 1978, and surpassed the 40-win mark on 13 occasions during that time span. Since the West Coast Conference was re-instituted for baseball prior to the 1985 season, Pepperdine has either won or shared 13 of the last 23 league championships prior to 2007. Dating back to the start of the 1985 campaign, Pepperdine has compiled a cumulative record of 889-470-11 (.653), including a 479-166-2 (.742) mark against league opponents.
Steve Rodriguez: Steve Rodriguez, a former collegiate All-American and a member of Pepperdine's 1992 College World Series Championship team, begins his fourth season as the Waves' head coach. Rodriguez was hired on June 18, 2004 after serving as an assistant for four years under Frank Sanchez. In three seasons, Rodriguez has led the Waves to a 148-96 (.606) record, three West Coast Conference (WCC) titles, three NCAA Regional berths and two national Top 25 rankings. He guided Pepperdine to a 30-32 overall record and into the championship game in 2004 Fullerton Regional Championship game, becoming the fifth head coach in program history to lead his club to post-season play in his rookie season, joining Gary Marks (1963), Dave Gorrie (1979), Andy Lopez (1989) and Pat Harrison (1995). In 2005, the Waves compiled a 41-23 overall record, reached the championship game of the Long Beach Regional and concluded the year ranked No. 23 nationally. A year ago, Rodriguez guided Pepperdine to a 42-21 overall record, a WCC title and an NCAA Regional appearance. The Waves hosted the Malibu Regional and reached the championship game for the third straight year. During Rodriguez' four seasons as an assistant, the Waves compiled an overall record of 145-98 (.597), including an 88-32 mark in WCC play, captured the conference title in 2001 and made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001 and 2003. Rodriguez, who earned All-American honors in 1991 and 1992, became only the third former Pepperdine player to assume the head coaching duties for the Waves in the program's 64-year history. Gary Marks became the first Pepperdine player to pilot the program when he skippered the program from 1963-67. Gail Hopkins, who played at Pepperdine from 1962-64, coached the Waves during the 1968 season. Rodriguez was a fifth-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1992 after helping the Waves' to the national championship and being named the WCC's "Player of the Year." He played professionally for seven years with the Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal Expos organizations. Rodriguez made it to the major league level with the Red Sox and Tigers in 1995. As a sophomore in 1991, Rodriguez batted .419, the second-highest single-season average in school history. His 104 base hits in 1991 are a Pepperdine record, and his .367 career average ranks second all-time in Waves' history.
WAVES AT HOME: Since Eddy D. Field Stadium opened in 1973, Pepperdine has been a tough team to beat at home, compiling an overall record to date of 752-289-12 (.719) and registering just one losing season in 35 years. The Waves were 9-12 in the inaugural season of 1973 and since then has produced 32 winning seasons in the last 34 years, including a 23-11 record in 2006. The Waves have had 30 straight winning seasons at home and are 23-9 in 2007.
WAVES ON THE ROAD: Since 1997, Waves are 169-150 (.530) in games played on the road. Pepperdine completed the 2006 campaign with a 29-10 road record. The Waves have registered winning road records in seven of the last 10 seasons. Pepperdine is 10-11 in "true" road and 2-0 in neutral field games in 2007.
ON THE WEB: For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics on the World Wide Web, please bookmark the following address: http://www.PepperdineSports.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information on the baseball program, or to arrange interviews with players and the coaching staff, please contact Al Barba at the Pepperdine Sports Information Office by calling (310) 506-4455.