Waves Set for First Road Test as They Travel to No. 14 Louisville for a Three-Game Set
March 1, 2012
PROBABLE STARTERS Friday vs. #14 Louisville, Justin Amlung, RHP vs. Jon Moscot, RHP
Saturday vs. #14 Louisville, Jeff Thompson, RHP vs. Scott Frazier, RHP
Sunday vs. #14 Louisville, Travis Tingle, RHP vs. Corey Miller, RHP
ALL-TIME SERIES: Louisville lead the all-time series with the Waves, 3-1. Last season, Louisville traveled to California and earned a three-game series sweep of Pepperdine on March 11-13, 2011 at Eddy D. Field Stadium in Malibu. After taking a 4-2 win in the series-opener, the Cardinals posted back-to-back shutout wins of 8-0 and 7-0 to complete the sweep of the Waves. Prior to last season, Louisville dropped a 6-4 decision to Pepperdine in the fi rst ever meeting between the two programs on Feb. 6, 2001 in Malibu.
THIS WEEK FOR THE WAVES: The Waves (7-2) will hit the road for the first time this season, as they travel to No. 14 Lousiville for a three-game set. The Waves enter the weekend on a two-game winning streak, after defeating USC 7-2 on Tuesday at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
LAST WEEK FOR THE WAVES: The Waves took both games from VCU last week, behind strong pitching from Corey Miller on Tuesday and a combined effort after starter Matt Maurer on Wednesday. The Waves then took two-of-three from visiting Fresno State over the weekend. The Waves bats were working and Miller came back strong in a Sunday start to take the rubber match from the Bulldogs.
GETTING THE HONORS: For the second-straight week a Wave has been named the West Coast Conference Rawlings Pitcher of the Week. This week the honor went to sophomore righty Corey Miller. Miller won two games last week for the Waves, first throwing eight complete innings in a 6-1 victory over VCU and then seven shutout innings in a 6-0 win over Fresno State to clinch the series. He threw a total of 15.0 innings, allowing only one run on seven hits and tallying nine strikeouts. The previous week, sophomore right-hander Scott Frazier was named WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week. The honor, for Frazier came on the heels of his seven shutout innings of work in a 10-0 win on Saturday, where he allowed only five hits, one walk and struck out a career-high six Sooners. The honors were the first of Miller and Frazier's careers. Freshman catcher James Grandpre was named a collegebaseball360.com Primetime Player of the Week, for his efforts as Frazier's signal caller and his steady bat at the plate during the Oklahoma series.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS: The Cardinals, ranked No. 14 by Collegiate Baseball, are 6-2 on the season. After opening with a loss to Minnesota, 7-2, the Cardinals reeled off six wins in a row, over foes such as Illinois, Michigan State, Eastern Kentucky and Oakland. The team stumbled on Tuesday against Eastern Illinois, falling 3-2 at home. The pitching staff has been the star so far for Louisville, with starters Thompson, Amlung and Tingle combining for four wins of far on the season. Overall the staff's ERA is 3.42, with 67 strikeouts through 71.0 innings. Senior outfielder/first baseman Stewart Ijames was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on Feb. 27 after leading the Cardinals to a 4-0 record the week prior, going 6-for-12 at the plate with three home runs, seven RBI, seven runs scored and a .625 on-base percentage.
EARLY STANDOUTS: The Waves bats have been working, as the team is batting a combined .302. Shortstop Zach Vincej leads the team with a .429 batting average, with 15 hits, 10 runs scored, five RBI and two doubles. That is much improved from last season's .193 batting average. DH Matt Forgatch is also hitting .400, with one home run, one double, six RBI and 12 hits. Second baseman Joe Sever and right fielder Aaron Brown lead with 11 and 10 RBI, respectively. Sever hit a grand slam against USC, the first of the year for the Waves. Overall, five Waves are batting above .300 so far on the year. The Waves have also outhit their opponents 57 to 25 on the season.
ON THE MOUND: The Waves' pitching staff has been solid so far, headlined by new starter RHP Corey Miller, who has allowed only one run in 15.2 innings of work. The ace, RHP Jon Moscot has gotten his first win of the season and leads the team with 15 strikeouts. Scott Frazier is looking to bounce back after a loss last Saturday to Fresno State. Midweek starter LHP Matt Maurer now has produced two wins on the season for the Waves and boasts the second-lowest ERA out of the starters, 2.25. Freshman RHP Andrew Alvarez has been strong out of the pen, working 7.2 scoreless innings in three appearances. He has come in for the Waves in jams and worked his way through with poise beyond his years. He has allowed only five hits and collected three strikeouts. LHP Brian McIlhenny leads with four appearances out of the pen and had thrown a collective 3.0 innings, allowing only one run one one hit. At the end of games, RHP Michael Swanner has pitched well for the Waves, along with LHP Aaron Brown, who has collected two saves on the season.
FRESHMEN PHENOMS: Baseball America's 16th-best recruiting class has yet to disappoint. Freshmen James Grandpre, Austin Davidson and Aaron Brown have all made big contributions, driving in a collective 16 runs. On the mound, Alvarez has represented the class well with his four innings of quality relief in the Oklahoma series alone, and fellow right handers Sean Leary and Quincy Quintero also have chipped in with scoreless outings. Brown also has picked up two saves.
ENTERING THE RANKINGS: The Waves have are now No. 39 in the Perfect Game College Top 50 list, after entering at No. 50 last week after their 2-1 series victory over Oklahoma.
THE 2012 PEPPERDINE WAVES: This season the Waves boast a strong mix of returners and new faces. The Waves return the entire infield, a strong pitching core led by junior righthander Jon Moscot and sophomore righty Scott Frazier. The team now has a strong pen to close out games with freshman lefty Aaron Brown and sophomore Michael Swanner. The Waves are versatile in the outfield, as th ey can go with experience led by Tony Cooper, David DiPaola and Ryan Van Amburg, or youth with the likes of freshmen Brown and Matt Gelalich.
PRESEASON ALL-WCC: For the second-straight season junior infielder Joe Sever was named an All-WCC preseason selection. Sever is coming off a 2011 season where he was named All-WCC for the first time in his career. He started all 55 games for the Waves as a sophomore and batted .279, with 32 RBI and six home runs.
PRESEASON WCC POLL: The Waves garnered 30 points in a vote by the conference coaches and are picked to finish tied for fifth with Saint Mary's. San Diego 59 points and is picked to win the conference.
SUMMER BALL: The Waves spread out across the country to play for summer ball teams from the Cape Cod League to Hawai'i. Junior pitcher Jon Moscot led the Hyannis Harbor Hawks with 46 strikeouts, second-best in the league. Junior infielder Zach Vincej also played with Moscot in Hyannis and helped the team to the Western Division semifinals. Junior Joe Sever also played in the Cape, as he suited up for the Chatham Anglers. He was named a top prospect by Perfect Game USA. Freshman outfielder/pitcher Aaron Brown was named the No. 3 prospect out of the California Collegiate League and was also named the Best Athlete in the league by Perfect Game USA. He hit .303 with seven home runs, 10 doubles and 28 RBI for the Glendale Angelenos. He earned first team All-CCL honors and was named the CCL's Top MLB Hitting Prospect. Senior Miles Silverstein was also named to the NBC All-Midwest Regional team as he played for the El Dorado (Kan.) Broncos in the Jayhawak League.
WAVES AMONG THE WCC LEADERS: In this young season the Waves are third in the WCC with a .304 team batting average. Aaron Brown is tied for first with 10 RBI. Zach Vincej is tied for second with 15 hits on the season.
THE 2011 PEPPERDINE WAVES: Finished the year with an overall mark of 22-34 (.393), setting the record for most losses in a single season ... Have lost in excess of 30 games the previous two seasons and four times since 2002 ... Placed seventh in the eight-team West Coast Conference with a record of 7-14 (.333) ... Had not finished as low as seventh place vs. the conference since 1969 and the 14 losses were their most since 1981 (14-14) ... Established a game record with seven sacrifice hits vs. BYU (3/31) and tied another game high with six stolen bases vs. Dayton (3/25) ... Played in a season high 10 extra-inning contests, finishing with a 4-6 record ... The previous record of eight had been in place since 1990 ... The Waves lost their last five extra-inning games dating back to March 31 ... Pepperdine's 15-inning affair at UC Santa Barbara on April 19 tied a program record for longest game (innings) ... Pepperdine also went 15 rounds with Cal State Northridge in 1992, Cal State Fullerton in 1997 and Portland in 2002 ... The Waves record book tracks extra-inning games back to 1981.
ALL-WCC HONOREES: Joe Sever was a first-time All-WCC first team honoree, however, Sever made both the WCC All-Freshman Team and was an honorable mention in 2010 ... Scott Frazier and Corey Miller were honored with spots on the WCC All-Freshman Team.
THE HEAD COACH: Steve Rodriguez has completed eight seasons as head coach of Pepperdine baseball and owns an all-time record of 266-201 (.570) ... Passed his former head coach Andy Lopez (241) for fourth place on the Waves' all-time coaching wins list following a three-game sweep of Eastern Kentucky (2/28-20) ... Moved ahead of Frank Sanchez (257) for third place with a 2-1 win vs. LMU on April 22 ... Enters the 2012 season tied with John Scolinos (263) for second place ... Served as an assistant coach under Sanchez from 2000 to 2003 ... Managed his 450th game as the Waves' head coach on April 23, 2011 vs. LMU ... Only Dave Gorrie (611) and Scolinos (482) have managed more games than Rodriguez (468) while wearing the Pepperdine uniform ... Guided his clubs to three WCC titles and five NCAA Regional appearances ... Voted Top Chef at the 2010 and 2011 Southern California Baseball Coaches Cooking Challenges hosted by ESPN Zone in Anaheim.
WAVES AT EDDY D. FIELD STADIUM IN 2011 (18-16, .529): Lost two of three to Saint Mary's during the final weekend of the season, which was the Waves fifth series loss at home this season (Louisville, BYU, Santa Clara, Gonzaga) ... With 18 wins through 34 games, however, Pepperdine extended their streak of non-losing (.500 or better) seasons to a 38th year ... Have not experienced a losing season at home since 1973 -- their inaugural year on the Malibu Campus ... Their stretch includes 31 seasons of posting a winning percentage of .600 or better ... 12 years above .700 ... 7 seasons above .800, including the 1992 campaign in which the Waves finished 24-1-1 (.942) ... The Waves are in their 40th season at Eddy D. Field Stadium in 2012, where they are 829-333-12 (.712).
ABOUT PEPPERDINE: Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won a total of nine NCAA championships in five different men's sports -- one of just 14 schools to have accomplished this feat. Of the 14, Pepperdine is the only non-BCS school and has by far the smallest enrollment. The majority of Pepperdine's teams are ranked nationally year after year and compete for conference and national titles.