Pepperdine Faces USC in Long Beach Regional Title Game Tonight at 7 P.M.
June 6, 2005
Long Beach, Calif. -
LONG BEACH REGIONAL GAME NOTES
TONIGHT'S GAME: Longtime Southern California rivals Pepperdine and USC will meet tonight in the championship game of the Long Beach Regional at Blair Field beginning at 7 p.m. It markS the fourth time this season the clubs have met and third time in the regional.
AT STAKE: The two teams will be battling for the right to advance to a Super Regional and the opportunity to meet Oregon State in a best-of-three series in Corvallis, Oregon, later this week. The Beavers swept through the Corvallis Regional, defeating St. John's, 19-3, on Sunday to advance.
TV/INTERNET: Tonight's regional final will be televised live throughout the Los Angeles area on KVMD and can be fond by checking local cable providers. The contest can also be heard live on the Internet at www.PepperdineSports.com with Bill Schindler handling the play-by-play.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE: Pepperdine enters tonight's contest with a 41-22 overall record, has won three in a row and 11 of their last 14. The Waves earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament after capturing the West Coast Conference's (WCC) West Division with a 21-9 mark and defeating Loyola Marymount in the WCC Championship Series to claim its 15th conference title and earn its 22nd regional appearance. Pepperdine was seeded third in the Long Beach Regional and, after opening play with a 7-3 loss to USC on Friday, has come back to defeat Rhode Island (2-1), Long Beach State (6-3) and USC (9-2).
TONIGHT'S PEPPERDINE STARTER: Freshman right hander Adam Olbrychowski will make his 11th appearance of the season and first career start tonight against USC. He is currently 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA. In 16 innings of work, Olbrychowski has allowed 16 hits, nine runs (six earned), walked five and struck out 13. The rookie right hander made his collegiate debut in the second game of a doubleheader vs. Cal Poly (2-13) and earned first career victory after working 1.1 innings, allowing two hits and one run. He struck out a career-high six batters in two innings of work at Cal State Fullerton (5-10). Olbrychowski pitched a career-high four innings, allowed five hits and struck out two vs. San Francisco (5-21). He came up big his last time out and earned a win after pitching three innings of relief, allowing three hits and one run at Loyola Marymount in Game 3 of the WCC Championship.
REGIONAL RECAP: Pepperdine, which is seeking its first Super Regional appearance, is attempting to do it the hard the way after losing its first game and being forced to win four in a row.
GAME 1: USC jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and went on to defeat the Waves 7-3. Trojans starter Jack Spradlin pitched eight innings, allowed three hits, three runs, walked one and struck out four while throwing 106 pitches. Meanwhile, Pepperdine ace left-hander Paul Coleman had a difficult outing, working three innings, surrendering seven hits, six runs (four earned), walked two and struck out two. USC was led offensively by first baseman Matt Cusick, who went 2-for-2 with three RBI. Senior Steve Kleen led Waves with three hits and three RBI. Pepperdine staged a two-out rally in the ninth inning before Trojans reliever Paul Koss came on to earn a save with the tying run on deck.
GAME 2: In a pitcher's duel that pitted Pepperdine senior right hander Kea Kometani against Rhode Island's Zack Zuercher, the Waves came out on top, scoring the winning on a bases-loaded infield out. Luke Salas' slow grounder to first base scored Patrick Rooney from third base with the winning run. Pepperdine took advantage of two catcher's interference calls to score its two runs. The first came in the sixth inning when Chad Tracy reached on catcher's interference, advanced to second on wild pitch and scored on a two-out single to right field by freshman Danny Worth. In the ninth, Rooney singled with one out and freshman Adrian Ortiz reached on a second catcher's interference call. Junior David Uribes then followed with a ground ball single through the left side that loaded the bases. Salas then followed and the game-winning ground out. The Waves received an impressive outing from Kometani, who worked 8.1 innings, allowed five hits, one run, walked two and struck out 10. Senior Steve Kleen got the final two outs in the top of the ninth to earn the victory.
GAME 3: Pepperdine freshman right hander Barry Enright out-dueled Long Beach State All-American left-hander Cesar Ramos as the Waves won a second straight elimination game, defeating the 49ers, 6-3. Pepperdine scored all six runs against Ramos to lead 6-0 after four innings and Enright earned his 10th win of the season after pitching seven innings, allowing six hits, three runs, one walk and struck out one. Enright's only mistake was made to All-American Troy Tulowitzski, who hit a three-run home run just inside the foul pole down the left-field line. The Waves also received two innings of relief from Steve Kleen, who worked the final two innings to record his 16th save of the season. Freshman Adrian Ortiz led the Waves offense with three hits.
GAME 4: Playing its second game of the day, sophomore right hander Robert Della Grotta gave the Waves 5.1 solid innings and Pepperdine received clutch relief pitching rookie right hander Doug Konoske and senior Steve Kleen to help keep Pepperdine alive with a 9-2 win. Della Grotta allowed five hits, two runs, one walk and struck out three. Konoske came in and, after allowing a single that loaded the bases and walking a batter to force home a run, recorded a strikeout and popup to avert further damage and hold a 3-2 lead. After the Waves increased their lead to 4-2 with a run in the bottom of the seventh, Kleen came on in the eighth with the tying runs on base and worked two scoreless innings to record his nation-leading 17th save. Junior David Uribes, sophomore Chad Tracy, freshman shortstop Danny Worth rookie Donald Brown each had two hits a piece for the Waves.
SERIES VERSUS USC: Tonight's regional championship game between Pepperdine and USC will mark the 117th meeting between the two programs with the Trojans leading the all-time series, 82-32-1. The two teams have met three times this season and the Trojans hold a 2-1 advantage. The two clubs met during the regular season and USC posted a 4-3 victory at Dedeaux Field. The Waves and Trojans have met 13 previous times in post-season play and USC holds an 9-4 advantage. They last met in the 2001 Los Angeles Regional at Dedeaux Field and USC registered a dramatic 4-3 victory on a two-run walk-off home run by Michael Moon. In a game that saw future first-round picks and major leaguers Noah Lowry and Mark Prior square off against each other, Pepperdine took a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning. The Trojans rallied for three runs as Josh Persell led off with a double, Bill Peavey singled home a run and, after a failed bunt attempt, Moon homered over the right field wall. Tonight's game will mark the second time that Pepperdine and USC have met in a regional championship game. They previously met in 1999 and the Trojans defeated the Waves, 12-7. USC broke open a 3-2 game with a five-run third inning to take an 8-2 lead. The Waves cut the deficit to 10-7 with a three-run seventh before the Trojans scored single runs in the bottom of the seventh and eighth inning to take a 12-7 lead. Future major leaguer Eric Munson was the hitting star for USC as he went 3-for-5 with four runs scored, double and home run.
LONG BEACH REIGONAL NOTES: Pepperdine is batting .290 as a team and has a collective ERA of 2.83 while limiting opponents to a 227 average...In each of their three wins, Waves starters have pitched at least 5.1 innings...Freshman Adrian Ortiz is the club's leading hitter in regional play, batting .462 (6-for-13) with two runs scored, a double, two triples and two RBI...Freshman Danny Worth also has had a hot regional, batting .438 (7-for-16) with a double and three RBI...Sophomore All-American catcher Chad Tracy is hitting .385 (5-for-13) while senior Steve Kleen is 5-for-15 (.333) with a home run and seven RBI...The senior utility player has also been solid on the mound, making three appearances, posting a win a two saves while working 4.2 innings, allowing one hit, a walk and striking out five.
URIBES FIFTH ON ALL-TIME RUNS SCORED LIST: Junior shortstop David Uribes is fifth on Pepperdine's all-time runs scored list with 179. He is one shy of tying Brad Bierley (1982-85) for fourth place. Current Waves assistant coach Rick Hirtensteiner (1986-89) is the all-time leader in runs scored with 228.
Kea Kometani SECOND ON ALL-TIME APPEARANCE LIST: Senior right hander Kea Kometani is second on Pepperdine's all-time appearance list with 89. He is seven appearances behind teammate Steve Kleen who is the all-time leader with 96.
KOMETANI NO. 6 ON ALL-TIME INNINGS PITCHED LIST: Senior right hander Kea Kometani ranks sixth on Pepperdine's all-time innings pitched list with 315.2.
KOMETANI NO. 8 IN CAREER STRIKEOUTS: In three-plus seasons, Kea Kometani has totaled 237 career strikeouts and is 10 away from tying Andy Shibilo (1996-98) for seventh place.
Steve Kleen NO. 1 ON ALL-TIME APPEARANCE LIST: Senior right hander Steve Kleen began the 2005 season No. 11 on Pepperdine's all-time appearance list with 68. With his 28 relief appearances this season, Kleen has appeared in 96 games, breaking the previous record of 87 set by Steve Schenewerk (1997-2000).
KLEEN NO. 2 ON PEPPERDINE SINGLE-SEASON SAVES LIST: Steve Kleen, who has made 28 relief appearances this year, has totaled 17 saves to move into sole possession of second place on Pepperdine's single-season saves list. He is also tops the nation in saves. Jay Gehrke totaled a school-record 18 saves in 1999.
TRACY CLIMBING SINGLE-SEASON LISTS: Sophomore catcher Chad Tracy is tied for fourth on Pepperdine's single-season doubles list with 22, No. 5 in hits (92) and is 10th with 61 RBI.
ORTIZ NO. 2 ON PEPPERDINE'S TRIPLES LIST: Freshman Adrian Ortiz is tied with Chris Cosbey (1997) and Ryan Christianson (1995) for second place on Pepperdine's single-season triples list. Ortiz is one triple away from tying Brad Bierley (1986) for No. 1 all-time.
PEPPERDINE IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: Pepperdine, which is making its 22nd NCAA Tournament has all-time record of 48-43 (.527). This year marks the Waves third straight and NCAA Tournament appearance second straight year they have advanced to the regional championship game. Pepperdine lost to eventual College World Series Champion Cal State Fullerton at the Fullerton Regional in 2004. The Waves have made two College World Series appearances (1979 and 1992) and won the title in 1992, with current head coach Steve Rodriguez as the starting second baseman. Pepperdine is seeking its first Super Regional appearance.