Waves Turn Triple Play in Loss at Cal Poly
May 18, 2010
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The Pepperdine baseball team dropped a 9-8 decision to Big West foe Cal Poly on a cool and foggy Tuesday night under the lights at Baggett Stadium. Despite all the offense that took place in a see-saw battle on the scoreboard, the clear highlight was a fifth-inning triple play turned by the orange and blue.
With Pepperdine clinging to a 4-3 lead, starter Keven Inman (Bakersfield, Calif./Garces HS) walked into trouble by issuing consecutive free passes to Cal Poly's No. 1 and 2 hitters Luke Yoder and Adam Melker, and then up came Bobby Crocker who smashed a line drive directly into the waiting glove of freshman shortstop Zachary Vincej (Saugus, Calif./Saugus HS).
Since the runners were going on the 0-2 pitch, Vincej carefully underhanded the ball for out No. 2 to second baseman Joe Sever (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Preparatory) who followed with a quick tag on a sliding Melker for the third and final out.
Sadly, Pepperdine's luck did not last for long as the Mustangs rallied for six runs in the sixth to take a commanding 9-4 lead. Inman started the inning by surrendering back-to-back singles by David Van Ostrand and Mitch Haniger, then watched the tying run score on a wild pitch that flew over the head of battery mate Nathan Johnson (Camarillo, Calif./Camarillo HS).
Cal Poly's No. 8 batter Evan Busby followed by driving in the go-ahead run with an RBI single to right.
Sophomore Aaron Gates (Villa Park, Calif./Orange Lutheran HS) relieved Inman soon after and entered the game with the bases loaded, but allowed all three inherited runners to score on a walk and two-run single by Melker. Two more of Gates' runners also scored as he surrendered three additional bases on balls.
The loss snapped Pepperdine's two-game winning streak and dropped its overall record to 20-27, while Cal Poly improved to 18-30. The Mustangs swept the season series from the Waves for the first time since 2004.
The Waves climbed back in their top half of the seventh with four runs on three hits, one of which was redshirt sophomore Miles Silverstein's (Bell Canyon, Calif./Calabasas HS) third double of the game. Silverstein's effort tied a Pepperdine individual game record shared by 11 other Waves; the last Wave to rip three two-baggers in one game was Matt Aidem in 2008 at Saint Mary's.
Pepperdine also received an RBI single that frame from sophomore Ryan Van Amburg (Campbell, Calif./St. Francis HS) and sacrifice flies off the bat of sophomore Brian Humphries (El Cajon, Calif./Granite Hills HS) and pinch hitter Cody Yount (Paradise Valley, Calif./Chaparral HS).
The Mustangs and Waves exchanged game-changing home runs in the third. Johnson blasted a solo shot to right center to give his club a short-lived two-run lead at 3-1, but Haniger countered with a two-run shot over the wall in left that tied the game at 3-3.
Johnson's home run was his ninth of the year and third in as many games. He is the first Wave to homer in three straight games since Eric Thames did it at home against Columbia on March 8 and 9 of 2008.
Pepperdine capitalized on a two-out error in the fourth to retake the lead at 4-3. Humphries reached on a bobble by shortstop J.J. Thompson, advanced to second on senior Colin Rooney's (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza HS) second hit of the night, and then scored on senior Ryan Heroy's (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley HS) RBI single.
But unfortunately for the Waves, they missed out on a big scoring opportunity as Sever flew out to right with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Sever finished the game 0-for-4 with a run scored, ending his 14-game hitting streak, while Humphries' streak was stopped at 11 even though he drove in two runs via sac fly.
Pepperdine outhit Cal Poly 12-7 but left eight runners on base through the first four innings and stranded 11 for the game. The Mustangs benefited from nine free passes and four hit by pitches.
The Waves return to action Friday for the start of a three-game weekend series against the first-place San Diego Toreros. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Cal Poly 9, Pepperdine 8 (May 18, 2010 at San Luis Obispo, CA) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pepperdine.......... 111 100 400 - 8 12 1 (20-27) Cal Poly............ 102 006 00X - 9 7 1 (18-30) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Pepperdine - Inman, Keven; GATES, Aaron(6); NAJERA, Alex(7); VILLARREAL, Ricky(8) and . Cal Poly - Anderson, Kyle; Reed, Frankie(7); Johnson, Jeff(7) and . Win-Anderson, Kyle(3-4) Save-Johnson, Jeff(3) Loss-INMAN, Keven(1-1) T-3:25 A-255 HR PEP - Johnson, Nate (9). HR CP - Haniger, Mitch (5). Weather: Cloudy, cool, 62 deg., 8-10 NW