STOCKTON, Calif. - The Pepperdine baseball team punched its ticket to the WCC Championship game on Friday night with a 4-2 win over San Diego. The Waves bounced back and avoided elimination after a 4-2 loss to LMU earlier in the day.
Pepperdine will take on LMU tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in a winner-take-all game for the WCC title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. That game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.
Ryan Wilson (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad HS) pitched Pepperdine to the win against the Toreros, tossing 8.0 innings in his first-ever collegiate postseason start. Wilson scattered seven hits and gave up just two runs, while striking out six batters. Offensively the Waves relied on the long ball to seal the win and set up a rematch of last year's WCC Championship game.
Pepperdine got on the board first in the late game, getting back-to-back homers from Hutton Moyer (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS) and Brad Anderson (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza HS) to take a 4-0 lead in the third. Moyer hit a three-run shot to right-center and then Anderson followed with a blast to left that made it out of the stadium.
The Toreros got two runs back, also by way of the long ball, with Aidan Stinett hitting a two-run shot in the seventh inning. That was all the offense USD could manage as Max Gamboa (Mill Valley, Calif./Tamalpais HS) came in to pitch a perfect eighth and record his sixth save.
After stranding a pair of runners in the sixth inning and then bouncing back after the long ball in the seventh, Wilson tossed a seven-pitch eighth inning to keep the Waves in front.
Anderson led the Waves with two hits in the game and Moyer's three RBI were a game high. Jesse Jenner and Riley Adams each had two hits for USD.
In the first game of the day, LMU jumped out to a 3-0 lead early, scoring three runs on four hits in the bottom of the second after getting a two-run double from Billy Wilson. Sean Watkins then put the Lions up 4-0 with a solo-home run to right field in the third.
The Waves loaded the bases to start the eighth, chasing LMU starter Trevor Megill. Anderson then singled in a pair of runs with two outs, but the Waves couldn't add any more as Cory Abbott got LMU out of the jam still holding the lead. The comeback was not to be for the Waves, however, as they went down in order in the ninth.
Despite going all eight innings and matching his career-high with 10 strikeouts, A.J. Puckett (Danville, Calif./De La Salle HS) took the loss for the Waves. Megill picked up the victory for LMU, giving up three hits and two earned runs in 7.0 innings pitched.
The Waves used just 3.0 bullpen innings through the first three games of the tournament, heading into tomorrow title game.
Pepperdine is now 29-27 on the year and will be looking for its second straight appearance in the NCAA postseason. The Waves defeated LMU 6-1 in last year's title game and went on to make a run into the NCAA Super Regional.