Waves Use Five Run First to Power to an 8-4 Win Over St. John's
Feb. 15, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine baseball team jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning to power its way to an 8-4 win over St. John's Saturday afternoon. The Waves pounded six hits in the opening frame to manufacture all the offense they would need for the win.
Aaron Barnett (Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley HS) continued his tear at the plate with another three-hit day and Jackson McClelland (Beaumont, Calif./Redlands East Valley HS) picked up the win on the mound, throwing 7.0 innings, giving up three hits and one run on the day.
"I thought coming into this year that this team was going to be good offensively," said Head Coach Steve Rodriguez, whose team failed to plate a run in its opening game loss to the Red Storm. "We just needed to get the first game jitters out of the way and get back out there and relax. The guys took some really good swings from the first inning through the ninth and I was happy with what I saw."
Pepperdine tallied 13 hits in the game, forcing the Red Storm to go through five pitchers on the day. The Waves chased starter Joey Graziano in the first inning, scoring all five of their runs with just one out.
Austin Davidson (Oxnard, Calif./Oxnard HS) got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and then Aaron Brown (Chatsworth, Calif./Chatsworth HS) followed with a two-run double to left-center, plating Bryan Langlois (Oak Park, Calif./Oak Park HS) and Hutton Moyer (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS). Brad Anderson (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza HS) and Barnett also added RBI singles in the inning.
Anderson would follow with a solo homer in the seventh inning, one of three more runs the Waves would score after the first.
St. John's found some offense late in the game, plating a run in the seventh and then Zach Lauricella hit a three-run homer in the eighth to make it an 8-4 ballgame. Lauricella led the Red Storm offensively, going 1 for 2, with three RBI and two runs scored.
Barnett's 3 for 4 day was tops for the Waves and both Anderson and Brown were 2 for 4 with two RBI. Eight Pepperdine players recorded hits in the game and five drove in runs. Barnett is now 6 for 8 at the plate in his first two collegiate games.
"Barnett is keeping it as simple as possible right now," said Rodriguez. "He's swinging at good hitter's pitches and not missing them, and that's a great sign."
McClelland struck out a pair and walked one, cruising through the first six innings of his start. The only adversity of the day for the sophomore right-hander came in the seventh when he had to work out of a bases loaded jam to keep it a 7-1 game. After giving up an RBI double and hitting a batter to load the bases, McClelland induced a popup and a grounder to end the threat.
"Jackson competed throughout the entire game," said Rodriguez. "He had a rough inning at the end, but found a way to get out of it. I was really excited to see the command he had with his fastball and changeup, and then the breaking ball got better as the game went on. He's going to be a good one for us and I look forward to watching him develop."
The win moves both teams to 1-1 on the young season and evens the series at one win each. Sunday's rubber game will be at 1 p.m. at Eddy D. Field Stadium.