Photo by Ana Salinas
There’s no time for baseball like … Thanksgiving? It feels a bit odd to be covering baseball this late in the year, considering the MLB recently ended its season with the Royals taking the World Series crown not too long ago. And technically, Pepperdine won’t play their first game until Feb. 19, kicking off a three-game series against Oakland.
So why are we discussing baseball in the thick of football and basketball (and hockey, if you’re Canadian) season? The Waves decided to give fans a sneak peak of the upcoming season with the Blue and Orange World Series.
For those who are unfamiliar, the Blue and Orange World Series is the exact same concept as Blue and Orange Madness for basketball, minus the giant pep rally and carnival rides. The baseball team divides itself into two teams: Blue and Orange. Then they battle, partially to make sure the players are staying fresh and on their toes for the upcoming season, and partially to solidify the rosters for when the regular season starts in the late winter.
These games are not only important for the team, but are also quite fun for collegiate baseball fans eager to hear the crack of the bat and the smack of a baseball against a leather mitt. It certainly helps that November in Malibu is much better for baseball than November in, say, Milwaukee.
In the first game on Thursday Nov. 12, the Blue squad completely dominated with a 7-1 victory. Blue starting pitcher, sophomore Kiko Garcia, had a fantastic outing, going five innings with five strikeouts, zero walks, one hit and no runs scored. They also had a big third-inning rally, scoring six runs off a series of walks, singles and three RBI doubles from redshirt sophomore catcher Ben Rodriguez. However, Orange mustered a little hitting power, with freshman shortstop Tyler Smith hitting a solo home run for the lone run for Orange.
The second game the following Saturday had a similar result, as Blue absolutely pummeled Orange again, 11-2. Blue starter redshirt freshman Isaiah Deutsch performed well, going five innings with only one run on four hits, and three strikeouts. However, what really pushed Blue to victory was an offensive assault led by freshman catchers Jacob Doty and Tyler Smith, who each contributed two hits. The team compiled 16 hits overall.
Meanwhile, Orange had a stronger offensive showing as well, scoring two runs on seven hits, with freshman outfielder Matt Kanfer leading both teams with three hits on the day.