Waves Win 2-1 By Committee Against UNC Wilmington
March 4, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine baseball team used seven pitchers and got a clutch single from Brandon Caruso in the sixth inning to score a 2-1 win at home over UNC Wilmington on Tuesday afternoon.
Matt Maurer (Medford, Ore./North Medford HS) got the start, passing the baton to six subsequent pitchers after two innings of work as the Waves held the Seahawks in check by committee. UNCW had six hits on the day, but couldn’t push past the tying run.
“Our staff did a great job today,” said Head Coach Steve Rodriguez. “Maurer started us off well and then our bullpen really settled in nicely. The guys are starting to understand what their roles are and are embracing them.”
Caruso (Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) came up in the sixth inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, singling to left field to bring home the tying run. Aaron Barnett (Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley HS) rounded third on the play, drawing a throw from the UNCW catcher to chase him back to the bag, but the throw went errant, allowing Barnett to score the go-ahead run.
The only offense of the day came in the sixth inning, as the Seahawks scored on a sacrifice fly in the top half of the frame. Robbie Thorburn picked up the RBI for UNCW.
The Seahawks threatened in both the seventh and ninth innings, but the Wave hurlers kept the visitors off the board. Evan Dunn (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman HS) picked off a runner at third to end the threat in the seventh and then Eric Karch (Fresno, Calif./Clovis West HS) stranded runners at the corners with a strikeout to end the game. Karch picked up his second save of the season.
Jayson Balades (Oxnard, Calif./Oxnard HS) got the win for Pepperdine as the pitcher of record in the sixth to move to 2-0 on the year. A.J. Puckett (Danville, Calif./De La Salle HS) had the longest outing of the day for the Waves, tossing three innings of two-hit ball while striking out six batters. In all the Waves recorded 12 strikeouts and allowed two walks.
“It’s good that we have guys that can go out there and get the job done, even if it’s just for one out,” said Rodriguez. “We were coming off four games in Hawaii, so to get a win like this where everybody contributed and we got to rest some arms in the process is great.”
Pepperdine moves to 9-3 on the year and UNCW falls to 5-6. The Waves have three games on the schedule this weekend, facing UCLA and USC on the road, before hosting Houston on Sunday.