LOS ANGELES — The Pepperdine pitching staff issued 11 free passes (10 walks, one hit batsman), but the Waves were still able to defeat UC Irvine 3-2 in the Dodgertown Classic at Dodger Stadium. Irvine was unable to take advantage of the free passes Tuesday because the Anteater hitters registered more double plays than actual hits.
Pepperdine’s pitchers allowed only three hits while the Waves’ middle infield turned four double plays. The defense was stellar and the offense did just enough to help the Waves improve to 5-1 in one-run games.
Shortstop Zach Vincej was the offensive catalyst. The junior scored the first of two runs in the first inning. In the fifth inning, he drove in the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly to left field that broke a 2-2 tie.
After the game, I talked with Vincej and head coach Steve Rodriguez. Vincej hypothesized on Pepperdine’s success in close games. He also talked about his offensive improvement this season and the relationship he has with second baseman Joe Sever:
Rodriguez wasn’t happy with his pitchers’ control issues, but talked glowingly about the Vincej/Sever middle infield connection: