May 31, 2006
Malibu, Calif. -
THIS WEEKEND: Seeking its first-ever Super Regional appearance, the nationally-ranked Pepperdine baseball team will be in familiar surroundings this week when it stays home to host Missouri, UCLA and UC Irvine at Eddy D. Field Stadium in the Malibu Regional.
The Waves (40-19), the No. 1 seed, will meet the No. 4 seed Tigers (31-25) at 3 p.m. In the regional opener, No. 2 seed UCLA (32-23) will face No. 3 seed UC Irvine (36-22) at 11 a.m.
The winner of the Malibu Regional will advance to a Super Regional to take on the winner of the Cal State Fullerton Regional either June 9-11 or June 10-12 at a site to be determined.
TICKET INFORMATION: All-tournament tickets are available by logging on to www.PepperdineSports.com or by calling the Pepperdine ticket office at (310) 506-4935. All-tournament passes are $50 and are available through Thursday. Single game tickets will be sold beginning Friday and are $15 for adults and $10 for youth, senior citizens and students.
Friday, June 2
No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 3 UC Irvine; 11 a.m.
No. 1 Pepperdine vs. No. 4 Missouri; 3 p.m.
Saturday, June 3
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2; 11 a.m.
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2; 3 p.m.
Sunday, June 4
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4; 11 a.m.
Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5; 3 p.m.
Monday, June 5
Game 7, if necessary; 11 a.m.
WAVES ON THE INTERNET: This weekend's NCAA Regional can be heard live on the Internet will Bill Schindler handling the play-by-play at www.PepperdineSports.com. The game also can be followed live via Gametracker.
A LOOK AT THE WAVES: Pepperdine earned its third straight automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament after winning the West Coast Conference (WCC) Championship by taking two of three from San Francisco in the WCC Championship Series over the weekend. The Waves claimed their 17th WCC title and are making their 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance and fourth in a row. Pepperdine advanced to the regional championship game in each of the last two seasons before falling to eventual 2004 College World Series Champion Cal State Fullerton and USC in 2005.
The Waves' streak of four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is their longest since making five in a row between 1985 and 1989.
Pepperdine enters the NCAA Tournament winners in 19 of their last 23 games and are a season-high 21 games over .500. for the first time since the 2001 campaign when the Waves finished 42-18.
PEPPERDINE MAKES 23RD NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCE: Pepperdine is making its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance and fourth straight. The Waves have reached the NCAA Championships every year under third-year head coach Steve Rodriguez, advancing to the regional championship game in each of the last two seasons. In 2004, Pepperdine lost to eventual World Series Champion Cal State Fullerton in the title game. Last season, after losing its opening game to USC at the Long Beach Regional, the Waves won three in a row before falling to the Trojans in the championship game.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: In 22 trips to the post-season, Pepperdine has an all-time record of 51-46 (.526), 5-4 mark in two 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 sixth post-season appearance in the last eight years, have advanced to the regional championship three times (1999, 2004 and 2005), losing twice to USC and once to Cal State Fullerton. This year's Malibu Regional marks the sixth straight the Waves have played in the greater Los Angeles area. Pepperdine has played twice at USC (1999, 2001), twice at Long Beach (2003, 2005) and Cal State Fullerton (2004).
WCC CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RECAP: For the second year in a row, Pepperdine dropped the opening game of the West Coast Conference (WCC) Series before rebounding to win the next two games and capture the series and the WCC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. In 2004, the Waves lost the first game before taking the next two at Loyola Marymount and followed that same pattern against San Francisco this year. In Friday's opener, the Dons rallied from a 4-0 deficit and needed a great defensive play with two out and the tying run on third in the ninth to hold on for a 7-6 win. In Game 2, senior left-hander Paul Coleman turned in a dominating performance, striking out eight and allowing two hits in 7.2 innings as Pepperdine rolled to an 11-0 victory. In the decisive Game 3, freshman second baseman Denny Duron led a season-high 17-hit attack with a career-high four hits as the Waves defeated the Dons, 9-4, to capture the series.
GAME 1 STARTER: Sophomore right hander Barry Enright will make his 20th appearance and 19th start of the season on Friday. He is 12-1 with a 4.20 ERA. Enright's 12 wins are a single-season career-high, tie for third in the country and eighth on Pepperdine's single-season wins list. The sophomore right hander has established career-highs for appearances, innings pitched (113.2) and strikeouts (63). Enright last worked on Friday at San Francisco and did to receive a decision after pitching six innings, allowing eight hits, five runs, walking one and striking out four. Enright has won 12 straight decisions and 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 113.2 innings, surrendered 131 hits, 60 runs (53 earned), walked 20 and struck out 63. Enright's career record stands at 22-2 with a 4.39 ERA while pitching 211.0 innings over 37 appearances. Enright brings a 1-0 record 3.86 post-season record into the 2006 NCAA Tournament. His only regional appearance came last season against Long Beach State in an elimination game when he started and earn a victory after pitching seven innings, allowing six hits, three runs, walked one and struck out one in helping the Waves stay alive.
GAME 2 STARTER: Senior left-hander Paul Coleman will make his 17th appearance and start of the season on Saturday. He is currently 7-5 with a 2.78 ERA. Coleman has worked 107.0 innings, allowed 82 hits, 40 runs (33 earned), walked 36 and struck out a team-high 94. His last outing was arguably his best of the season after allowing two hits, two walks and striking eight in 7.2 innings against San Francisco last Saturday. Coleman retired the first nine batters he faced and 19 of 20 to start the game. Coleman has 262 career strikeouts and is tied with Jacob Barrack for fifth place on Pepperdine's all-time career list. He also is third Pepperdine's career appearance list with 89. Coleman has an 19-13 career record with a 4.02 ERA. Coleman made two appearances in last years Long Beach Regional and was 0-1 with an 8.22 ERA. In 7.2 innings, he allowed 10 hits, nine runs (seven earned), walked six and struck out four. Coleman's loss came in a starting role in the opener against USC when he pitched three innings, allowed seven hits and six runs (four earned).
GAME 3 STARTER: Senior right hander James Johnson will make his 19th appearance and 11th start of the season Sunday, if necessary. He is 6-1 with a 3.13 ERA. In 83.1 innings, Johnson has allowed 83 hits, 30 runs (29 earned), walked 14 and struck out 50. He last pitched in Sunday's decisive Game 3 of the WCC Championship Series at San Francisco and did not have a decision after working 4.1 innings, allowing seven hits, three runs, walking one and striking out three. Johnson has established career-highs in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts during the 2006 campaign. The senior right hander did not work in the 2005 Long Beach regional but did make two appearances during the 2004 Cal State Fullerton Regional, pitching 3.2, allowing nine hits and five runs against the Titans.
ABOUT MISSOURI: Missouri, which is making its fourth consecutive and 11th over NCAA Tournament appearance, enters regional play with a 31-25 overall record, including a 12-15 mark, in Big 12 play. The Tigers received an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships after reaching the semi-finals of the conference tournament. Missouri is batting .285 as a team and has a collective ERA of 3.44. The Tigers have five players batting .300 or better and are led by senior outfielder Zane Taylor, who is batting .346 and is second on the club with 41 RBI. Sophomore Jacob Priday is batting .299 and tops Missouri with 11 home runs and 48 RBI. Junior right hander Max Scherzer will start against the Waves on Friday and brings a 7-1 record and 1.89 ERA into the contest. Scherzer has made 12 appearances, including 11 starts and has walked 23, struck out 71 and limited opponents to a .194 average in 66.2 innings. Head coach Tim Jamieson is in the midst of his 12th year at Missouri and has compiled an overall record to date of 395-287-2 (.579).
SERIES VERSUS MISSOURI: Friday's contest between Missouri and Pepperdine will mark the seventh meeting between the two programs with the Waves leading the all-time series, 4-2. The two teams last met during the 2001 season and split four games. Pepperdine won an early-season contest 4-1 in Malibu while the Tigers took two of three from the Waves in Columbia. The two teams met twice during the 2000 season and Pepperdine won both meetings at Eddy D. Field Stadium. The Waves are 3-0 against Missouri in Malibu.
ABOUT UCLA: UCLA is 32-23 overall and finished third in the Pac-10 with a 13-10. The Bruins, who received an at-large berth into the tournament, are making their 14th NCAA Championships appearance and first since 2004. UCLA is batting .287 as a team and has a collective ERA of 3.82. The Bruins have five regulars batting .300 or better and are led by freshman third baseman Jermaine Curtis, who is batting .338. UCLA brings a powerful line-up into the regional as it has slugged 54 home runs. Junior left-hander Dave Huff has been the Bruins most durable pitcher, logging a team-high 121.1 innings and striking out 99 while posting a 7.3 record and 2.82 ERA. Head coach John Savage is in the midst of his second season at UCLA and has an overall record of 47-64 (.423).
SERIES VERSUS UCLA: Pepperdine and UCLA have met 60 times since 1975 and the Bruins leading the all-time series, 33-24-3. Pepperdine and UCLA met twice during the regular season with each team winning on its home field. The Bruins registered a 2-0 victory at Jackie Robinson Stadium on February 21 and the Waves evened the score with a 6-1 at Eddy D. Field Stadium on March 7. Pepperdine snapped a four-game losing streak against UCLA with their win in March. The two teams have just once in regional play and UCLA defeated Pepperdine, 21-5, at the 1987 NCAA West II Regional in Tempe, Arizona.
ABOUT UC IRVINE: UC Irvine earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament after registering a 36-22 overall record and finishing third in the Big West Conference with an 11-10 mark. The Anteaters are making their second NCAA Championships appearance and first since 2004. UC Irvine is batting .280 as a team and has a collective ERA of 3.47. The Anteaters have three players batting .300 or better and are led by junior second baseman Cody Cipriano, who is hitting .361 with four home runs and 34 RBI. Senior first baseman Jaime Martinez tops the club with eight home runs and 45 RBI. UC Irvine's starting rotation of Scott Gorgen (7-4, 2.52), Glenn Swanson (9-4, 2.81) and Justin Cassel (7-8, 3.41) have all won at least seven with all logging at least 80 innings, with Cassel topping the team with 126.2 innings pitched and 91 strikeouts. All-American junior right hander Blair Erickson is 5.0 with a 2.22 ERA and 13 as the Anteaters' closer. Head coach Dave Serano is in the midst of his second season at UC Irvine and has an overall record of 67-47 (.588).
SERIES VERSUS UC IRVINE: Pepperdine and UC Irvine have met 62 times since 1975 and the Waves lead the all-time series, 36-24-2. The two teams did not meet during the 2006 regular season but faced each other three times during 2005 and Pepperdine captured two of the three meetings. The two clubs have never met in post-season play.
PEPPERDINE VERSUS NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD: Pepperdine has an overall record of 12-10 against teams in this year's NCAA Tournament and has at least one win against each of the them. The Waves have played seven teams - Oregon State (2-1), Fresno State (1-2), San Diego (2-1), San Francisco (3-3), Tulane (2-1) and UCLA (1-1) - and have a winning record or is .500 against all of them except Fresno State.
LAST TIME IN NCAA TOURNAMENT: Pepperdine last appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season at went 3-2 at the Long Beach Regional. After falling 7-3 to USC in the opener, the Waves staved off elimination three times, defeating Rhode Island (2-1), Long Beach State (6-3) and the Trojans (9-2) before losing 5-2 to USC in the championship game. Senior utility player Steve Kleen, sophomore Chad Tracy and freshmen Adrian Ortiz and Danny Worth were named to the all-region team.
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 13 times and posted two 50-win campaigns.
PEPPERDINE 40-WIN SEASONS: The 2006 season marks the 13th time in school history that Pepperdine has reached the 40-win plateau. The Waves, who are 40-19, have posted back-to-back 40-win campaigns for the first time since registering three straight 40-win seasons between 1991 and 1993. During that three-year period, Pepperdine went 130-45-2 (.732) and won the 1992 national championship. The Waves have four 40-win seasons in the last eight years: 1999 (46), 2001 (42), 2005 (41) and 2006 (40).
THREE WCC TEAMS MAKE POST-SEASON: For the second time in its history, the West Coast Conference (WCC) has three teams competing in post-season play in 2006. Joining Pepperdine in the field, are San Francisco (38-21) and San Diego (32-23). The Dons, who are making their first-ever NCAA appearance, will play in the Lincoln Regional while the Toreros were sent to the Fullerton Regional. The last time the WCC had three teams in the field was 1988 when Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara were selected.
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 111-74 (.600). 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 Jared Pitney (1998-2001) for fourth place on Pepperdine's all-time home run list with 30. He broke a 31-game homerless streak Friday in Game 1 of the WCC Championship Series and five shy of tying Brad Bierley (1982-85) for third place with 35. Tracy hit 12 home runs in each of his first two seasons in Malibu and has six thus far in 2006. The junior catcher also is tied with current assistant coach Rick Hirtensteiner (1986-89) for second place on the school's all-time doubles list with 57.
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 89. Coleman also is tied with Jacob Barrack (2001-04) for fifth place on the school's all-time strikeout list with 262. He is 13 away from tying Steve Duda (1990-93) for fourth place.
MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: Pepperdine is 10-5 against ranked opponents...The Waves are currently batting .303, have a 3.49 team ERA, are 10th in the country in fielding percentage (.975) and eighth in double plays turned (1.14 per game)...Pepperdine ranks second in the West Coast Conference (WCC) in batting and tops the conference in pitching...The Waves are 28-8 when scoring first and 26-5 when holding the opponent to three runs or less...Pepperdine is 33-2 when leading after six innings, 35-2 when ahead after seven innings and 37-0 when leading after eight innings...The Waves are 7-6 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...Senior first baseman Nick Kliebert is second on the club with a .352 average and is batting .357 with 19 runs scored in his last 23 games...Sophomore center fielder Adrian Ortiz, who had his career-high 14-game hitting streak snapped Friday at San Francisco, is third on the club with a .335 average...Junior catcher Chad Tracy, who is fourth on the club with a .329 average, leads the Waves with 43 RBI and is second in home runs with six...Sophomore shortstop Danny Worth is batting .306 and leads Pepperdine with a career-high 22 doubles...Sophomore right fielder Donald Brown, who is batting .292, has hit .433 (13-for-33) with 11 runs scored over his last 10 games...Freshman third baseman Chase d'Arnaud has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games, posting a .388 average (19-for-49) with 14 runs, seven doubles, two home runs, 14 RBI, .653 slugging percentage and .467 on-base percentage.
PITCHING NOTES: Pepperdine ranks No. 20 in the country in ERA (3.49)...The Waves are 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 are a combined 10-0 over their last 13 starts...Over his last 10 appearances, sophomore right hander Jason Dominguez has posted a 4-0 record and 2.30 ERA...Enright's 12 wins tie for third-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 27 appearances and has 49 strikeouts in 55.2 innings...Senior left-hander Paul Coleman leads the pitching staff with 94 strikeouts in 107.0 innings...Pepperdine's three weekend starters (Enright, Coleman, Johnson) are a combined 25-7 with a 3.40 ERA in 53 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 MLB 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 two weeks ago. It marked the Waves second straight title after taking two of three from Loyola Marymount in the WCC Championship Series in 2005. Pepperdine won its third straight WCC Championship Series and fourth overall after taking two of three from San Francisco over the weekend. 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 made its eighth straight appearance this season. 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 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 22 league championships. Dating back to the start of the 1985 campaign, Pepperdine has compiled a cumulative record of 854-452-11 (.653), 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 111-74 (.600) record, three West Coast Conference (WCC) titles, three 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 157-139 (.530) 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 19-10 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.