May 27, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - Senior day was only the beginning of the celebration Sunday at Eddy D. Field Stadium, as Pepperdine baseball clinched the West Coast Conference title with a 5-1 win over visiting San Diego. The Waves jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning and didn't look back, riding a seven shutout-inning performance from starter Corey Millerto cruise to the series-deciding win.
The Waves (34-21, 16-8 WCC) started hot, as leadoff hitter Zach Vincej (Saugus, Calif./Saugus HS) was hit by a pitch and stole second. Austin Davidson (Oxnard, Calif./Oxnard HS) put down a sac bunt that advanced him to third, and an overthrow enabled Davidson to reach base and Vincej to score. After a wild pitch advanced Davidson to second, Joe Sever (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Prep) plated him with an RBI double down the left field line to put the Waves up 2-0. After Sever advanced to third on a balk, Tony Cooper(San Carlos, Calif./Canada College) drove Sever in with a sac fly to put the Waves up 3-0 after one.
That would be more than enough for Miller (Laguna Niguel, Calif./JSerra HS), who commanded the zone and worked ahead of hitters all day, going seven scoreless and scattering three hits to pick up his eighth win of the season. Miller racked up seven strikeouts against only a pair of walks.
The Toreros' (40-15, 15-9 WCC) pitching settled down after the first, holding the Waves scoreless until the sixth, when Matt Forgatch (San Marino, Calif./Denison University) worked a leadoff walk. He advanced to second when the Toreros again made an errant throw on a sac bunt, this time off the bat of Miles Silverstein (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas HS). With runners at the corners, Matt Gelalich(La Verne, Calif./Bonita HS) dropped a sac bunt up the first base line on the safety squeeze that brought in Forgatch but also reached on an error. After a single from Vincej loaded the bases, Davidson hit a flare into left that dropped in behind third base to drive in Silverstein and give the Waves a 5-0 lead.
Sophomore righty Eric Karch(Fresno, Calif./Clovis West HS) entered the game in the top of the eighth and picked up right where Miller left off. Karch tossed a scoreless eighth and gave up a single run in the ninth but inducing the game-ending groundout to Vincej to secure the 5-1 win and the 18th regular-season WCC title in school history.
The Waves now wait to see where they will be headed for NCAA regional play as they have secured the conference's automatic bid. Regional sites were announced Sunday, but the full field of 64 will be announced Monday morning. The selection show airs at 9 a.m. PT on ESPNU.
Pepperdine 5, San Diego 1
San Diego........... 000 000 001 - 1 5 4
Pepperdine.......... 300 002 00X - 5 3 0
Win - MILLER, C. (8-3). Loss - DRUMMOND, C. (8-6). Save - None.
E - JOE, C(5); GREEN, A(1); DRUMMOND, C.(1); PAZOS, J.(3). DP - USD 2; Pep 1. LOB - USD 7; Pep 7. 2B - DANIEL, A(18); SEVER, J.(15). HBP - DANIEL, A; GREEN, A; VINCEJ, Z.. SH - DAVIDSON, A.(9); SILVERSTEIN(9); GELALICH, M.(14). SF - COOPER, T.(2). SB - VINCEJ, Z.(10); GELALICH, M.(5).
WP - DRUMMOND, C. 2(6). HBP - by DRUMMOND, C. (VINCEJ, Z.); by MILLER, C. (DANIEL, A); by MILLER, C. (GREEN, A). BK - DRUMMOND, C.(1). Pitches/strikes: DRUMMOND, C. 81/50; PAZOS, J. 51/31; MILLER, C. 117/69; KARCH, E. 38/24.
Umpires - HP: Anthony Prater 1B: Ray Leible 3B: Carl Coles
Start: 1:10 pm Time: 2:55 Attendance: 582 Weather: 67 degrees, sunny, breezy