No. 24 Waves Ready for Regional Action, Face Michigan State on Friday
May 31, 2012
THIS WEEK FOR THE WAVES: The No. 24 Waves (34-21, 16-8 WCC), fresh off their 18th regular-season West Coast Conference title and first since 2006 are headed to the NCAA regionals, selected as the No. 2 seed in the Stanford Regional for the first time since 2008. They are slated to open regionals against No. 3 seed Michigan State at 1 p.m. PT on Friday, June 1. The No. 1 seed Stanford will play the No. 4 seed Fresno State at 6 p.m. PT on Friday. Games will continue in the double-elimination regional at 1 p.m. PT and 6 p.m. PT on Saturday, Sunday and one game on Monday if needed.
LAST WEEK FOR THE WAVES: The Waves took two-of-three in the de facto WCC title series against then-No. 20 San Diego. The Waves won game one 4-0 behind a complete game shutout from Jon Moscot. They then fell 10-5 on Saturday, setting up a winner-takes-all game on Sunday, where the Waves were carried by starter Corey Miller to a 5-1 win and the conference title, earning the automatic bid into the tournament.
ESPN3: All games in the Stanford regional will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com with play-by-play commentator Joe Davis and color commentator Randy Flores.
WEST COAST CONFERENCE HONORS: Three Waves took home individual WCC awards, as second baseman Joe Sever was named Player of the Year after batting .417 in conference play. Junior shortstop Zach Vincej was named Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Steve Rodriguez was named Coach of the Year for the first time in his career. Sever is the first Wave to win the honor since Eric Thames won in 2008. Vincej joins former shortstop Denny Duron with the Defensive Player of thhe Year honor after he won it in 2009. Joining Sever and Vincej on the All-Conference team was RHP Jon Moscot. Tony Cooper, Floyd Given and Corey Miller earned All-Conference honorable mention. Austin Davidson represented the Waves on the All-Freshman team.
ALL-TIME SERIES: The Waves are 1-0 all-time against Michigan State. Fittingly the last time the Spartans were in the postseason, 1979, was the one time the Waves and Michigan State met. The Waves defeated them 15-0 in East Lansing, Mich. The Waves are 6-31 all-time against Stanford. The last time the two teams met was in a nonconference three-game set in 2010, where the Waves got swept at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. The last time the Waves were in the postseason, 2008, they were in the Stanford regional, losing two to be eliminated from the postseason. The Waves are 26-40 all-time against Fresno State. The Waves took two-of-three from the Bulldogs in the second weekend of this season at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
GARNERING NATIONAL RECOGNITION: Junior shortstop Zach Vincej has been named one of 25 finalists for the College Baseball Hall of Fame Brooks Wallace Award, given to the top shortstop in the country. He leads all finalists with the highest fielding percentage. Freshman outfielder Aaron Brown was named to the midseason watch list for the College Baseball Hall of Fame John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award.
GETTING THE HONORS: Junior second baseman Joe Sever was named West Coast Conference Rawlings Player of the Week for the second time this season on May 14. He batted .500 with six RBIs and four runs scored as the Waves went 3-1 on the week. The week of May 14 also saw Sever named CollegeBaseballInsider.com West Player of the Week. On April 16, Sever also earned the weekly honor as he went 8-for-11 last week with a game-winning home run. Junior Jon Moscot was named WCC Rawlings Pitcher of the Week after throwing 8.2 innings of no-hit baseball at Saint Mary's on April 5. He also tallied a career-high 10 strikeouts. Now all three weekend starters for the Waves have earned the honor. For the first two weeks of the season a Wave was named the WCC 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 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. Moscot racked up the accolades after his one-hitter, being named to the Collegiate Baseball Hall of Fame and Diamond Sports National All-Star Lineup for the Week of April 10. He was also named CollegeBaseballInsider.com West Pitcher of the Week.
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 72 runs. Brown started 32 games in right field, as Matt Gelalich has started 54 of 55 in center field. Davidson has made 50 starts at third base and Grandpre has started 27 behind the dish. On the mound, Andrew 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 a four saves, good for second on the team.
VERSATILITY: During his four-year career at Pepperdine, UTIL Miles Silverstein has played in the outfield, at every infield position and catcher. The bulk of his starts this season have come at catcher, but he has also earned starts at first base and designated hitter.
ENTERING THE RANKINGS: Pepperdine is ranked 28th according to Perfect Game USA and is receiving votes in the NCBWA poll.
IN THE NCAA STATS: The team ranks 28th with 55 double plays on the year. They are also 39th with 29.0 sacrifice flies. Individually, Joe Sever's batting average of .365 ranks 69th nationally and Zach Vincej is 21st with 7.0 sacrifice flies. Jon Moscot's fifth complete games rank 20th in the nation and Corey Miller 15 games started is 29th nationally.
WAVES AMONG THE WCC LEADERS: Joe Sever is third in the conference with a .370 batting average. Sever is second with 81 hits on the season and is fifth with a .447 on base percentage. Sever is also second with 52 RBIs and tied for fourth with six home runs. Zach Vincej is second with 54 runs scored and leads the conference with 18 doubles. His batting average of .347 is ninth best. Matt Gelalich is sixth in the league with 32 walks. Michael Swanner is fifth in the league with eight saves. Jon Moscot is third with 106.1 innings pitched and fourth with 91 strikeouts. He also leads the conference with fifth complete games. Corey Miller is second with eight wins. As a team the Waves are third in batting (.282) and sixth in pitching (3.66 ERA).
THE HEAD COACH: Steve Rodriguez has completed eight seasons as head coach of Pepperdine baseball and owns an all-time record of 297-227 (.566) ... He is second-all time in the wins category, only Dave Gorrie has a better record of 409-2-2 (.667) ... Rodriguez is three wins away from 300 career victories ... 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 ... Only seven wins away from 300 career victories.
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.
WAVES IN THE MLB DRAFT: Aaron Brown (17), Pittsburgh Pirates ... Austin Davidson (21), Boston Red Sox in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft ... Scott Frazier (5) Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft.