Waves open up the season Friday, Feb. 17 as they host Oklahoma at 2 p.m. PT.
Waves swept Western Michigan with a 10-6 win Sunday (2/17). (Photos by Stephen Wandzura & Viktor Steury )
Waves vs. Oklahoma Sunday, February 19, 2012 Eddy D. Field Stadium, Malibu, Calif. Photos by Stephen Wandzura
Rick Hirtensteiner, a four-year standout at Pepperdine who earned both All-American and Academic All-American honors for the Waves, in addition to being the WCC Player of the Year as a senior in 1989, begins his 16th season as a member of the Waves' coaching staff.
Hirtensteiner is in his second stint serving as an assistant coach at Pepperdine, having rejoined the staff in 2000 after also serving as an assistant in 1998.
Hirtensteiner's responsibilities include serving as hitting instructor, coaching first base and working with the outfielders. He also organizes Pepperdine's fundraising efforts and the Malibu Baseball School.
During Hirtensteiner's 15 seasons as an assistant, Pepperdine has posted an overall record of 503-373 (.574), won five WCC crowns and advanced to the postseason eight times.
Tabbed the WCC's Player of the Year in 1989, Hirtensteiner was an eighth-round draft pick by the California Angels.
Hirtensteiner played professional baseball for seven seasons with the California Angels, Florida Marlins and Montreal Expos organizations, reaching the AAA level with Montreal. Hirtensteiner also played in the Northern League with the St. Paul Saints, the Salt Lake City Trappers of the Pioneer League plus stints in Australia and Mexico.
A graduate of nearby Buena High in Ventura, Calif., Hirtensteiner cracked the Pepperdine lineup as a rookie in 1986 and still ranks #5 on the Waves' all-time games played list, appearing in 239 contests.
During Hirtensteiner's collegiate career at Pepperdine, the Waves won four WCC titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each season, compiling a cumulative four-year record of 164-76-7 (.678), including 80-15-1 (.839) mark against league foes. The Waves earned a national Top 20 ranking all four seasons.
The 1986 and 1988 teams advanced to the championship round in NCAA regional tournament play, while the 1987 team was ranked as high as #2 nationally and won a school-record 21 consecutive games.
A three-time All-WCC pick, Hirtensteiner had a .337 career batting average and is the Waves' all-time career leader in triples (17), and also ranks among the top five in base hits (295), runs scored (228), RBI (175) and at-bats (876).
As a senior in 1989, Hirtensteiner led the Waves with a .366 batting average and clubbed a team-best 12 home runs as a leadoff hitter. Hirtensteiner tied a single-game school record by slugging three home runs in a game at UC Santa Barbara. Additionally, Hirtensteiner emerged as the Waves' closer, often times tossing warm-up pitches in the outfield during conferences on the mound.
In January 2007, Hirtensteiner was named to the WCC's 40th Anniversary Team.
Hirtensteiner earned CoSIDA Academic All-American honors in 1989 after earning a bachelor's degree in business administration. Hirtensteiner was also recognized as the WCC's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, becoming just the second Pepperdine athlete to earn the prestigious award.
After completing his professional career, Hirtensteiner opted to pursue a coaching job, landing an assignment as a volunteer assistant at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Hirtensteiner worked under head coach Jim Gilligan in 1996-97 while completing work for a master's degree in business administration.
Hirtensteiner and his wife, Shannon, have four sons, Cade, Cullen, Crosby and Colter, and live in Westlake Village.