Waves Take on TCU in NCAA Super Regional This Weekend
June 4, 2014
THIS WEEK FOR THE WAVES: The Pepperdine baseball team will head to Fort Worth, Texas to take on TCU in NCAA Super Regional action this week. The Waves and Horned Frogs will face off in a best-of-three series for a spot in the College World Series. The first game will be at 1 p.m. (PT) on Saturday, with the second game on Sunday at 3 p.m. (PT) and the "if necessary" game on Monday at 4 p.m. (PT).
COVERAGE: All games of the NCAA Super Regional will be broadcast live on ESPNU with Adam Amin and Keith Moreland on the call.
FOLLOW AND LIKE WAVES BASEBALL: Be sure and join Pepperdine's growing communities on Facebook and Twitter today. Follow and like Waves baseball on Facebook (Pepperdine Baseball) or Twitter (@PEPPBASEBALL).
WAVES AT A GLANCE: The Waves won the San Luis Obispo Regional to advance to the Super Regional, going 3-0 in the first round tournament. The Waves had to beat Arizona State to open the tournament and then take down regional host and top-seed Cal Poly twice to advance. Pepperdine earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning the WCC Tournament the week before. The Waves have now won six straight postseason games coming into Super Regional play this weekend.
WCC CHAMPS: The Waves' regular-season WCC Championship this year was the program's 17th regular-season title and second in the past three years after winning the 2012 title. Pepperdine also grabbed the conference tournament title, going 3-0 in Stockton, Calif. to lock up the WCC's automatic bid. It was just the second year the WCC has used the four-team format and the first time the Waves have won it.
POSTSEASON HISTORY: The Waves have now made 28 appearances in NCAA postseason play. Pepperdine won a College World Series title in 1992 and has appeared in the College World Series twice (`79, `92). This is the first NCAA Super Regional appearance for the Waves since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1999.
SUPER REGIONAL SCHEDULE
WCC TOURNAMWENT NOTES
ALL-WCC HONORS: Aaron Brown, Corey Miller, Eric Karch, Austin Davidson and Hutton Moyer were all named to the All-WCC first team and Aaron Barnett and Matt Maurer earned honorable mention. Barnett, Manny Jefferson and Brandon Caruso all earned All-Freshman team honors. The five first team honorees this season is the highest total since 2008 for the Waves. It is also the first time in program history that Pepperdine has had three players make the WCC All-Freshman team.
WCC COACH OF THE YEAR: Head Coach Steve Rodriguez earned his second WCC Coach of the Year award this season after leading the Waves to a regular-season title. The regular-season title was the 17th overall for the program and the fifth in Rodriguez's 11 seasons at Pepperdine. It was also the 14th Coach of the Year award for a Waves coach.
WCC PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Aaron Brown took home WCC Pitcher of the Year honors this week after leading the league with a 10-1 record. He compiled a 2.33 ERA and a .219 opponents' batting average in 92.2 innings pitched. Brown led the league with 89 strikeouts this year, while allowing just 32 walks. Also a threat at the plate, Brown was second on the team with a .319 batting average and led the league with 12 home runs through the course of the regular season.
WATCH LISTS: Three Waves pitchers have been on prestigious award watch lists:
TWO-WAY SKILLS: Aaron Brown is one of eight players in the country to hit a home run in a game where he also records a win on the mound, and he is the only player to do so four times. In fact, only he and Kentucky's A.J. Reed have done it more than once. Brown hit a homer and picked up a win over Hawaii on March 1, had a two-homer day and got the win over Santa Clara on March 23, and hit his sixth home run of the year and got his seventh win on the mound against BYU on April 12.
IN THE RANKINGS: The Waves have been at least receiving votes in the national rankings for 13 of the 15 weeks this regular-season and are currently ranked in all of the major national polls. Both Baseball America and Perfect Game USA have the Waves ranked No. 23. Pepperdine sits at No. 24 in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the NCBWA Poll. As the only poll released during the postseason, Collegiate Baseball moved the Waves up 14 spots to No. 11 this week.
COACHES POLL: With the release of the 2014 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll, Pepperdine was picked to finish second in the conference. The Waves tallied 68 total points in the coaches poll, with one first place vote, to sit behind defending WCC Tournament Champion San Diego (76 points, 6 first place). Four teams received first place votes in the poll.
PRESEASON ALL-WCC: Juniors Austin Davidson (INF), Kolten Yamaguchi (C) and Aaron Brown (LHP) all got nods on the Preseason All-WCC list. It is Davidson's second time garnering the preseason honor and the first for both Yamaguchi and Brown. Yamaguchi led the team's regular starters with a .309 average last season and a .473 slugging percentage on his way to 34 hits and 18 RBI. Davidson posted a team high 58 hits in 2013, driving in 24 runs and hitting .287. Brown led the way in the win category for the Waves' pitching staff last year, posting a 6-3 record in 12 starts. He also did damage from the plate, hitting .313 in 48 at-bats with a pair of homers. Davidson and Yamaguchi were both named to the All-WCC team at the end of last season.
WAVES ROSTER BREAKDOWN: This year's Waves squad features a good balance of veterans and young talent, with 19 returners and 16 newcomers on the roster. The Waves have three seniors, seven juniors, seven sophomores and 18 freshmen. All four of the Waves' probable starting pitchers are returners and six of the probable starting position players were with the team last season as well.
TEAM USA: Pepperdine baseball head coach Steve Rodriguez will serve as an assistant coach for the 2014 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer. Also serving alongside Rodriguez are Rob Childress, head coach at Texas A&M, and New Mexico head coach Ray Birmingham. Dave Van Horn, head coach at Arkansas, was announced as the Collegiate National Team manager last April. The staff will face international friendship series with Chinese Taipei, Japan and Cuba (in Havana), as well as complete a domestic exhibition tour and compete in the Honkbal Baseball Week tournament in Haarlem, Netherlands.
WAVES IN TAIWAN: The Waves traveled to Taiwan this fall, playing in the 2014 Formosa Cup in Tainan City. Pepperdine faced off against teams from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, taking first place in the international competition. The Waves swept through their three games at the tournament to come home with the top prize at the inaugural competition. Bryan Langlois took tournament MVP after leading the Waves offensively with eight RBI.
CAMPUS LIFE PROJECT: In May 2011, Pepperdine launched The Campaign for Pepperdine, the largest fundraising campaign in the University's history. The goal is to raise $450 million to support the Campus Life Project, which will benefit the entire campus. The key piece for Athletics is a new, state-of-the-art, 5,000-seat University Events Center, which will replace Firestone Fieldhouse as the Waves' home. The project has been approved by the County of Los Angeles and the California Coastal Commission, so the biggest step remaining before the arena can be built is fundraising.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY: Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men's sports - one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that's given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation's most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges.