Waves Collect WCC Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year as Conference Honors Were Announced
May 30, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - On the heels of notching Pepperdine's first West Coast Conference baseball championship in six years, the Waves added a number of individual awards, highlighted by junior second baseman Joe Sever being named conference Player of the Year. The other half of the Waves' middle infield, shortstop Zach Vincej was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, and head coach Steve Rodriguez brought home the Coach of the Year honor.
Sever (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Prep) has been the focal point of the Waves batting order, hitting in the three slot every game this season. He finished among the conference leaders in multiple categories, including leading the way with a .417 average in WCC play. Sever was also tops with 40 conference hits and 10 doubles. He notched a pair of home runs and 10 doubles--good for a .583 slugging percentage. Despite frequently being pitched around in key situations, he drove in 23 runs to lead the Waves and scored 20. Sever also contributed with the leather, finishing conference play flawless on defense as half of the top double play tandem in the conference. Sever was also named to the All-Conference team for the third time in his career.
Vincej (Saugus, Calif./Saugus HS) was named WCC Defensive Player of the Year for his work anchoring the Waves' infield at the shortstop position. The Brooks Wallace Award finalist led WCC shortstops with a sparkling .981 fielding percentage, committing only a pair of errors on the season. At the plate, Vincej chipped in with a .333 batting average and a .390 on base percentage out of the leadoff slot. The last time a Wave was named conference Defensive Player of the Year was in 2009, as then-shortstop Denny Duron won the award. Vincej was also named to the All-Conference team for the first time since his freshman campaign.
Ninth-year head coach Steve Rodriguez was named WCC Coach of the Year for the first time in his career. Rodriguez took a team picked to finish fifth in the WCC and guided it to Pepperdine's 18th WCC baseball championship, compiling a 16-8 record in conference. Overall, the Waves finished the regular season 34-21 against one of the nation's toughest schedules and advanced to NCAA regional play for the first time since 2008. With the honor Rodriguez becomes the sixth Pepperdine coach to take home the award.
Joining Sever and Vincej on the All-Conference team was ace Jon Moscot (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Cuesta College), who started every Friday, tossing three complete games and compiling a 3-2 record. Twice named the conference pitcher of the week, Moscot finished conference play with a 3.13 ERA, leading the Waves' staff with 60.1 innings pitched.
Freshman third baseman Austin Davidson (Oxnard, Calif./Oxnard HS) was named to the conference All-Freshman. Davidson started every conference game at third base, finishing with a .316 average and a pair of home runs and 14 RBIs.
Three other Waves were named all-conference honorable mention, as outfielders Floyd Given (Rohnert Park, Calif./Sacramento City College) and Tony Cooper (San Carlos, Calif./Canada College) along with Sunday starter Corey Miller (Laguna Niguel, Calif./JSerra HS) were recognized for their stellar seasons as well. Given batted .262 while appearing in 21 conference games and driving in 11 runs in conference play. Cooper hit .300 and appeared in 23 of 24 conference contests, driving in 13 runs with three extra-base hits. Miller went 4-1 with a 4.17 ERA in conference play, including a standout performance in the winner-takes-all game three of the series against San Diego, where he threw seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Miller earned honorable mention accolades in 2011, but it is the first such honor for Given and Cooper.
The No. 2 -seeded Waves will begin NCAA postseason action on Friday at 1 p.m. PT as they take on No. 3-seeded Michigan State at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond in the Stanford regional.