Waves Begin Conference Season at Santa Clara
FRIDAY'S GAME: Is Pepperdine's conference opener and the first of a three-game series against rival Santa Clara ... Since 1968, the Waves are 726-342-2 (.679) in conference play and are 31-11 (.738) in conference openers ... Pepperdine has opened its WCC season with Santa Clara six previous seasons: 1976, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2004 and 2005 ... The Waves last opened their WCC season at Santa Clara in 2005 and won both games by matching 10-3 scores.
WAVES VS. BRONCOS: Pepperdine is 87-54-2 all-time vs. Santa Clara ... 40-18-2 at Eddy D. Field Stadium ... 47-36 at Schott Stadium and neutral sites ... 17-7 under the direction of head coach Steve Rodriguez ... 31-14 vs. the Broncos since 1999, winning eight of the last 11 series, including sweeps in 1999, 2001, 2006 and 2009 ... Have not lost a series to SCU since 2004, when they lost four of six.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS:
Fri. at Santa Clara: Matt Bywater, lhp (2-3, 2.05) vs. Nate Garcia, rhp (2-5, 6.02) - 7 p.m. PT/SCU All-Access
Sat. at Santa Clara: Cole Cook, rhp (1-3, 3.47) vs. Alex Rivers, rhp (2-4, 4.79) - 6 p.m. PT/SCU All-Access
Sun. at Santa Clara: Robert Dickmann, lhp (5-2, 4.66) vs. Chris Mendoza, rhp (2-1, 4.55) - 1 p.m. PT/SCU All-Access
DOUBLEHEADER HIGHLIGHTS: Pepperdine completed its first doubleheader sweep since 2008 Tuesday with 3-2 and 12-7 wins over Cal State Northridge ... Highlights included six shutout innings in game one from starter Robert Dickmann, who also tied a career high with eight strikeouts ... Cole Cook striking out the side for his first save since Feb. of 2009 ... A six-run first inning in game two, in which Ryan Van Amburg hit his first home run in more than a year ... Ryan Heroy also scored three runs and in game two and Colin Rooney drove in a team and season-high five RBI as six Waves posted a multi-hit performance.
100 RUNS FOR ROONEY: Senior Colin Rooney's second run scored during a 12-7 win over Cal State Northridge served as the 100th of his collegiate career ... Rooney has touched home plate 46 times since joining the Waves in 2009 and scored 54 runs during his two years at Saddleback College ... In addition to reaching this milestone Tuesday, Rooney also established a career high with five RBI ... He recorded three four-RBI games while at Saddleback and five three-RBI games last season.
STARTER COMPARISONS: A combination of high innings pitched and strikeouts, plus low ERAs and walks issued totals have made this year's starting rotation of Cole Cook, Matt Bywater, Robert Dickmann and Aaron Gates one of the most dependable of the Steve Rodriguez era that began in 2004 ... Below is a table comparing each year's primary starters in the following categories: ERA, innings pitched, CG, K:BB ratio and strikeouts per 9 innings through the first 25 games of the season.
WAVES AMONG THE WCC LEADERS: Heading into this weekend, Pepperdine ranks second in the West Coast Conference with a 4.33 ERA and defensively with a .970 fielding percentage ... Individually, junior Matt Bywater ranks first with two complete game shutouts and is second with a 2.05 ERA, while his teammates Cole Cook and Aaron Gates are ranked 6th and 7th with ERAs of 3.52 and 3.47 ... Freshman Joe Sever is tied for fourth with eight stolen bases ... Senior Colin Rooney is tied for fourth with 14 walks and senior Ryan Heroy is tied for seventh with 13 ... Senior starting pitcher Robert Dickmann is tied for first with five wins while he (6th - 46.1), Cook (5th - 46.2) and Bywater (7th - 44.0) are all among the top ten in innings pitched ... Bywater (6th - 43) and Cook (7th - 42) are also ranked in the top ten for strikeouts, and Bywater and Gates are tied for the second lowest opponents' batting average at .234.
WAVES IN THE STANDINGS: The Waves begin West Coast Conference play on 4/9 at Santa Clara ... Begin their year 1.5 games behind Portland (3-0) and in a six-way tie for second place after the Pilots swept a three-game series at Santa Clara last weekend ... Finished tied for third last year with San Francisco at 12-9 ... Since placing fifth in the WCC in 1983, the Waves have finished first 14 times, second place 10 times and third just twice (2007, 2009).
THE HEAD COACH: Steve Rodriguez is in his seventh season as the head coach of Pepperdine Baseball and owns an all-time record of 227-157 (.591) ... 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 ...Won his 200th game as the Waves' head coach on March 20, 2009 in a 13-4 home victory against Chicago State ... Named Top Chef at the second annual Southern California Baseball Coaches Cooking Challenge hosted by ESPN Zone in Anaheim in late January.
WAVES AT EDDY D. FIELD STADIUM (8-4, .667): Are riding a season-best four-game home winning streak following Tuesday's doubleheader sweep of Cal State Northridge ... Was their first home doubleheader sweep since taking two games from Columbia on March 8, 2008 ... The Waves have completed 37 seasons at Eddy D. Field Stadium, where they own an all-time record of 803-308-12 (.720) ... Have not experienced a losing season at home since 1973, their inaugural year on the Malibu Campus ... Since then have posted 36 consecutive win-loss records of .500 or better ... This 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).
WAVES ON THE ROAD (2-11, .154): Lost their sixth-straight game away from Eddy D. Field Stadium on March 30, dropping a 2-1 decision at No. 6 UCLA ... Have won only two games away from home this season but haven't won a true away game since a 6-0 win over then-No. 4 Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 20 ... Beat Brown 19-3 on March 6 at LSU's Alex Box Stadium ... The Waves never won more than three straight games on the road in 2009 and only won back-to-back games on two occasions: (2/25-2/28/09 and 5/10-12/09) ... Won only two road series through all of 2009, taking two-of-three contests at both UC Davis (2/27-28) and Portland (5/8-10) ... Haven't posted a winning road record since 2006 (19-10, .655) and claimed just four winning seasons on the road this past decade.
ON THE WEB: Subscribers to "Wave Casts" can catch all Pepperdine baseball home games and selected road games on the internet at www.pepperdinesports.com. Go to the Pepperdine Athletics website and look for the Wave Casts link. An annual pass costs $69.95 and monthly subscriptions are also available. Live statistics will be available for all home matches free of charge, and links are provided to the home team's website when the Waves are on the road.
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.