#10 Waves Venture East for Wichita State Series
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Fri at Wichita State: Nathan Newman, rhp (2-0, 1.35) vs. Tim Kelley, rhp (1-0, 1.45) 1 p.m. PT/3 CT
Sat at Wichita State: Scott Alexander, lhp (1-2, 3.63) vs. Charlie Lowell, lhp (2-1, 2.25) Noon PT/2 CT
Sun at Wichita State: Aaron Gates, lhp (1-0, 2.84) vs. Jordan Cooper, rhp (1-2, 6.91) 11 a.m. PT/1 CT
FRIDAY’S GAME: Is the first of a three-game road trip and series at Wichita State ... The Waves are visiting Wichita and Eck Stadium for the first time in program history.
WAVES vs. SHOCKERS: Pepperdine is 3-2 all-time vs. Wichita State ... 2-1 at Malibu’s Eddy D. Field Stadium (2/16 - 2/18/07)... 1-1 at neutral sites ... The Shockers beat Pepperdine 12-1 in a NCAA West II Regional (Fresno, Calif.) en route to the NCAA Championship in 1989 ... The Waves returned the favor during their championship season of 1992, blanking the Shockers 6-0 in Omaha ... Pepperdine is 7-3 all-time vs. the Missouri Valley Conference, which includes a 3-1 mark vs. Evansville and a 1-0 record vs. Southern Illinois.
KEEPING IT COOL: Pepperdine should be in good shape weather-wise this weekend in Wichita as the projected high temps for each of the three day games are 45 (Friday), 54 (Saturday) and 63 (Sunday) degrees ... The coolest weather Pepperdine has played in this year was a 50 degree game at UC Davis (2/28).
AMONG THE WCC LEADERS: As a team, Pepperdine ranks 1st in pitching with a 2.96 ERA and are fourth in batting with a .289 average ... The Waves also are 1st on defense with 6 errors and a .988 fielding % ... Individually, Nathan Newman and Cole Cook rank 2nd and 4th with ERAs of 1.35 and 2.45, and are 1-2 in Opp. BA at .123 and .133 ... Cook also is one of three pitchers to start the season 3-0 and is T6th with 20K ... Scott Alexander still claims the WCCs lone CG shutout (7 IP at UCD) ... Nate Simon is T2nd with 4 HR, 6th in SLG% at .667 and T9th with 28 total bases ... Bryce Mendonca is 4th with 6 SB and Denny Duron is 5th with 5 SB ... Davis Harris has drawn the second most BB with 11.
GAUDI ON WATCH LIST: Pepperdine relief pitcher Nick Gaudi has been placed on the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association’s Preseason Stopper of the Year watch list for the second consecutive season ... Gaudi is one of 40 players named to the list ... Gaudi saved a WCC-best 15 games last season en route to a 5-1 record and a .268 ERA ... He is 1-1 this season with two saves and 10K ... On Monday, Real Baseball Intelligence announced its March Top 200 draft prospects and Gaudi checked in at #23 ... RBI’s website has the most free coverage of the draft at withthefirstpick.net.
THE HEAD COACH: Steve Rodriguez is in his sixth season as the head coach of Pepperdine Baseball and owns an all-time record of 196-122 (.616) ... Has guided his clubs to three West Coast Conference titles and five NCAA Regional appearances ... Served as an assistant coach under Frank Sanchez from 2000 to 2003 ... Played second base for Pepperdine’s 1992 national championship team.
WAVES AT EDDY D. FIELD STADIUM (6-1, .857): Pepperdine completed its most recent homestand with a 4-1 record (3-1 vs. Evansville, 1-0 vs. #25 Cal Poly) ... Produced some of its biggest offensive numbers of the season in a 15-5 win over the Purple Aces (3/6) and again in a 16-6 win over the Mustangs (3/10) ... Pepperdine has won four of its seven home games in come-from-behind fashion, including three in its final at-bat ... The Waves are entering their 37th season of playing baseball at Eddy D. Field Stadium, where they own an all-time record of 780-295-12 (.723), including a 23-5 (.821) mark in 2008 ... Have not experienced a losing season at home since their first year at Malibu in 1973 ... Pepperdine has won 23 or more games at home five times in the last nine years.
WAVES ON THE ROAD (4-2, .667): Finished its longest road trip of the season (2/25 - 3/3) with a 4-1 record by taking two of three at UC Davis (2/27-2/28) in between wins over USC (2/25) and UCLA (3/3) ... Pepperdine’s win at UCLA’s Jackie Robinson Stadium was its first there since 1999 ... Its victory at USC’s Dedeaux Field was just its 19th there and first since 2007 ... Stumbled slightly on the road in 2008, finishing with a 15-16 (.484) record that also includes neutral site games ... Have not posted a winning road record since 2006 (19-10, .655) and claim just four winning seasons on the road this decade ... Since 1973, the Waves’ first season on the Malibu Campus, Pepperdine’s road record is a respectable 572-447-5 (.561).
WAVES IN THE RANKINGS: Rivals.com (10), PING! Baseball (15), Baseball America (11), National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (16), Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (22), College Baseball Insider (16), ESPN/USA Today (17).
WAVES IN THE STANDINGS: The Waves begin West Coast Conference play on 3/27 at San Diego ... Finished second last year to the Toreros after being swept on the road at the WCC Championship Series ... Since finishing fifth in the WCC in 1983, the Waves have finished first 14 times, second place 10 times and third just once (2007).
PHILANTHROPIZZA: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the California Pizza Kitchen in Thousand Oaks at The Lakes on Tuesday, March 17 ... From 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., customers who bring in their "Philanthropizza" flyer will have 20 percent of their bill donated to Pepperdine Athletics ... The flyer is currently available online at www.pepperdinesports.com.
SUNSET IN MALIBU: The RSVP date for the Pepperdine Baseball "Sunset In Malibu" fundraiser has been extended to Tuesday, March 17 ... This year’s event is being hosted by The Sidley Residence and will feature local vinters offering up their finest wines ... The ticket price for this fundraiser has been set at $75 and includes a souvenir glass and the opportunity to sample over 50 wines and hors d’oeuvres ... All proceeds from ticket sales and both the silent and live auctions directly benefit the Pepperdine Baseball team ... For event information or to RSVP please contact Colette Taylor at 310/506-4466.
BONE MARROW DRIVE SUPPORTING ROBERT CORRALES: In honor of one of its baseball alums L.A. County Sheriff Robert Corrales, the Pepperdine Athletics Department is establishing four bone marrow donor drive dates throughout the spring and is currently accepting volunteers to assist ... Representatives from the National Marrow Donor Program will begin collecting marrow registries on Wednesday, March 25 at both Firestone Fieldhouse (Room 125) and Eddy D. Field Stadium, and again on April 15, 17 and 18 ... For more information on the event or to volunteer please contact Heather Collart with Pepperdine Athletics at (310) 506-6483 ... Corrales was an infielder for the Waves in 1975 and hit .311 with two home runs and 19 RBI for a team that finished 37-13 and 14-2 in the WCAC ... Corrales was diagnosed with leukemia in early 2008 and is currently in search of a bone marrow donor as he undergoes chemotherapy treatments.
THE ROONEY FUND: A fund for Patrick Rooney’s children has recently been established through the assistance of Wells Fargo Bank ... Please visit any Southern California Wells Fargo location for more information on how to contribute or send donations to: Children of Patrick Rooney Fund, c/o Erynn Rooney, Wells Fargo Bank, 20375 East Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA 92886 ... Rooney, a former Pepperdine infielder and brother of current Wave, Colin, died in a January plane crash outside Steamboat Springs, Colo.
GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD: For the first time ever, fan voting will be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2009 ... Fans will be able to vote for their favorite player starting May 26 after USA Baseball officials cut the watch list of players to 30 semifinalists ... USA Baseball officials will unveil the 2009 Golden Spikes Award Watch List on Feb. 17 ... The Golden Spikes Award will be presented to the top amateur player in the country on Wednesday, July 15 in St. Louis as part of the MLB All-Star Game festivities ... For more information, please log onto www.goldenspikesaward.com.
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 Â 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.