Waves Set to Take on No. 8 Texas A&M in Final Nonconference Series Tune-Up
March 22, 2012
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LAST WEEK FOR THE WAVES: The Waves started out last week defeating UC Irvine 3-2 on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium as part of the Dodgertown Classic. LHP Matt Maurer won his third game of the season and remains the Waves lone undefeated starter. Finally on Wednesday RHP Eric Karch, in his first start of the season threw 7.1 innings, allowing only one run on six hits for his first win of the season, 3-1 over Columbia. The Waves then saw their five-game winning streak snapped on Friday in game one of a three-game set against Kent State, 3-1. RHP Jon Moscot tied his season-high strikeout total with nine and threw a complete game, allowing only two runs, but was unable to get the run support needed to earn the victory. After a rain out on Saturday, the Waves returned on Sunday behind starter Scott Frazier to defeat Kent State, 10-4. Right fielder Aaron Brown's bat came alive as he drove in four runs, including a bases clearing triple in the wine. . On Monday the Waves held on to a 6-4 victory to take the series win over the Golden Flashes. The Waves bats then came alive on Tuesday as they scored a season-high 12 runs on 14 hits in a 12-2 victory over Long Beach State. With the win, midweek starter Matt Maurer remains undefeated at 4-0 in four starts.
ALL-TIME SERIES: The Waves and Aggies have only played twice before, splitting two games in College Station, Texas during the Aggie Continental Express Baseball Classic on March 23 & 25, 2002. The Aggies won the first game 6-2 (7 inn.), but the Waves evened things up with a 2-0 victory two days later.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES: The Aggies come to Malibu on a two-game winning streak after taking their first Big 12 series, 2-1 from Kansas State. All-time, while playing in California, the Aggies are 6-5. Overall the Aggies are batting a combined .310, and they are led by Tyler Naquin with a .418 average. Jacob House leads the team with 22 RBI while batting .350 and is followed by Matt Juengel with 21 RBI. The Aggies' pitching staff has a combined 2.88 ERA, but the three weekend starters, Michael Wacha, Ross Stripling and Rafael Pineda have a combined 2.42 ERA.
GETTING THE HONORS: For the first two weeks of the season a Wave was named the West Coast Conference Rawlings Pitcher of the Week. The week of Feb. 27 the honor went to sophomore righty Corey Miller. Miller won two games over the 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. He was also named CollegeBaseballInsider.com West Pitcher of the Week. The previous week, Feb.20, 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.
EARLY STANDOUTS: The Waves bats have been working early, and the team is batting a combined .286. Shortstop Zach Vincej boasts a .373 batting average, with 28 hits, 19 runs scored, 11 RBI, six doubles and one leadoff home run. The home run is the second of his career and the first since his freshman season in 2010. LF Tony Cooper, who has appeared in 17 games, starting 14 of those has a .346 batting average with 18 hits and one triple. His 11 RBI is the third-most on the team. Second baseman Joe Sever leads with 19 RBI and right fielder Aaron Brown is next with 18 RBI. Sever hit a grand slam against USC, the first of the year for the Waves and followed up with a home run in the first game at Louisville. First baseman Sam Meyer, who has started 16 games, is finding his swing and is tied with Sever and Miles Silverstein with two home runs. Overall, six Waves are batting above .300 so far on the year.
ON THE MOUND: The Waves' pitching staff has been solid so far, headlined by new starter RHP Corey Miller, who is 4-1 on the season. The ace, RHP Jon Moscot has the lowest ERA of the team at 2.33 and leads the team with 38 strikeouts. He also has thrown two complete games on the year. Scott Frazier bounced back after two losses, going the distance for his first complete game of his career in a 7-1 victory over Rhode Island and following it up with a win last weekend over Kent State. Midweek starter LHP Matt Maurer now has produced four wins on the season for the Waves with a 1.93 ERA. Freshman RHP Andrew Alvarez has been strong out of the pen, working 11.2 innings in six appearances. LHP Brian McIlhenny leads with eight appearances out of the pen and had thrown a collective 5.2 innings. At the end of games, RHP Michael Swanner has pitched well for the Waves with three saves coming in the last week. LHP Aaron Brown has also collected three saves on the season. RHP Eric Karch showed his versatility last week as he won his first start of the season over Columbia on Wednesday. He is also very effective out of the pen, making six appearances in total.
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 34 runs. Brown has started all 21 games in right field, as Matt Gelalich has started all 21 in center field. Davidson has made 19-of-21 starts at third base and Grandpre has startedd 16 behind the dish. 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 three saves.
ENTERING THE RANKINGS: The Waves are receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches' Poll and NCBWA polls.
IN THE NCAA STATS: The team's .985 fielding percentage is second in the nation and they rank 31st with 19 double plays. The squad's team ERA of 2.46 is 14th in the nation. Individually, Matt Gelalich is 20th with 6 sacrifice bunts. Jon Moscot is seventh with two complete games and 24th with 38 strikeouts on the year.
WAVES AMONG THE WCC LEADERS: As of March 19, Joe Sever and Aaron Brown were tied for fourth in the conference with 17 RBI so far on the season. Zach Vincej is eighth in the conference with a .366 batting average and is tied for seventh with 26 hits on the year. His six doubles are third in the WCC. Matt Gelalich leads the league with 16 walks. Aaron Brown and Michael Swanner are fourth with three saves apiece on the year. Jon Moscot leads the league with 38 strikeouts and 38.2 innings pitched. As a team the Waves are fourth in batting (.279) and fourth in pitching (2.49 ERA).
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 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.
THE HEAD COACH: Steve Rodriguez has completed eight seasons as head coach of Pepperdine baseball and owns an all-time record of 278-211 (.569) ... 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.