Photos by Joanna Cabalquinto
Pepperdine baseball opened their season with a four-game series against Louisiana Tech. They ended the weekend in a tie with two wins and two losses.
The Waves started their season Friday, Feb. 16 for their first game against Louisiana Tech. A pitching duel between Louisiana Tech’s Matt Miller and Pepperdine sophomore RHP Will Jensen lasted almost eight full innings.
The game remained tied at 0-0 until the fourth inning, when Pepperdine cracked it open.
Junior outfielder Matthew Kanfer started the Waves off with a single to left. Kanfer then advanced to second with a ground out to first from redshirt junior outfielder Jordan Qsar. Catcher Dempsey Grover reached due to an error by Louisiana’s shortstop which allowed Kanfer to advance to third. With runners in scoring position, redshirt freshman infielder Brandt Belk delivered with a RBI single through the right side to give the Waves a 1-0 lead.
Jensen provided strong defensive support on the mound with zero runs, zero walks, and five strikeouts during the 7.1 innings he pitched.
The Waves held their lead until the ninth inning when Louisiana scored off an error to first base. Tied at 1-1, the game went into extra innings. Pepperdine held Louisiana Tech scoreless for two innings until the Waves were able to score in the 11th. After RS freshman outfielder Reese Alexiades’ ground out to second, fellow outfielder Josh Davis came in to pinch hit for sophomore infielder Quincy McAfee. Davis walked then advanced to third on a double by Kanfer. Qsar, who came in to pinch hit for Jeremy Farraye, was intentionally walked. Davis scored on a walk-off single by Grover for a final score of 2-1.
— Pepperdine Baseball (@PeppBaseball) February 17, 2018
Pepperdine’s four-game series against Louisiana Tech continued on Saturday, Feb. 17 with a doubleheader. Louisiana took the first game of the doubleheader with a score of 3-2. However, the Waves rallied to win the second game of the day, 1-0.
In the first game of the day, the Waves scored in the bottom of the second which gave them the lead early on. Davis got on with a single through the left side, then advanced to second on a balk. Sophomore infielder Aharon Modlin brought in Davis with a RBI single. However, Louisiana quickly tied the game in the top of the third. Louisiana then took the lead in the fourth on an RBI that followed two hit by pitches. The next inning, Louisiana scored their third run on a dropped third strike.
The Waves did not go down without a fight. In the bottom of the ninth, Modlin hit a sacrifice bunt that allowed Belk and Davis, who were walked before him, to advance to second and third. McKinnon then followed Modlin with a RBI groundout which made the final score 3-2.
During the second game of the day, the Waves once again took the lead early on with one run in the second inning. Davis stole second after being walked. Modlin got on with an error from the pitcher allowing Davis to advance to third. McKinnon reached first on a bunt which brought in Davis.
Redshirt junior pitcher Christian Stoutland pitched for 6.1 inning, giving up no runs and only three hits with three strikeouts.
The Waves suffered a tough loss during the last game of their series against Louisiana on Sunday, Feb.18 with a final score of 9-3.
The Waves fell short on the offensive end. The team had a hard time stringing together hits. They left a total of 13 runners on base and were only able to drive in three runs despite only having two hits less than Louisiana.
Louisiana Tech too an early lead off a solo home run in the first inning. However, redshirt junior infielder Chase Lambert quickly answered back with a single. Kanfer then advanced him to third with a double of his own. The Waves tied it up in the bottom of the first when Qsar hit a sacrifice fly to center field. In the second inning Belk got on with a single to left. Alexiades advanced him to second with another single to left. Duncan McKinnon drew a walk to load the bases. With another sacrifice fly, the Waves scored taking the lead.
Unfortunately, Louisiana Tech ran the game starting from the fourth inning. With two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, Louisiana took the lead 4-2. In the top of the seventh, victory became unattainable for the Waves when Louisiana ran the score up, 9-2, with four runs after a bases loaded walk.
On personal goals: “There were a lot of positives that came out of this weekend,” freshman infielder Billy Cook said. “It was good just to see other pitching, besides our own. I want to keep playing hard, have good at bats, and a clean game every time on the field.”
On the weekend’s series: “We had a lot of fun this opening weekend,” Alexiades said. “We came out strong. Our pitchers really helped us. I think we just need to get our hitting hot and we’ll be fine. We have to win one game at a time and just go from there.”
On starting the first game: “It was exciting to be the first guy to have the ball the first day,” Jensen said. “I’m excited for the season. I want to win as many games as I can. I want to keep my ERA below a three and just give our team a chance to win.”
The Waves take on Michigan state at home for another weekend tournament. The first of the three-game series will be played Friday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.
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