MALIBU, Calif. – Pepperdine Baseball Head Coach Rick Hirtensteiner has released the team’s 2017 schedule. The slate features an opening weekend homestand, a road swing through Texas A&M and Rice, a home series against California and the full West Coast Conference lineup.
The Waves start the season on February 17 with a three-game series against St. Joseph’s in Malibu. Pepperdine will also host its annual Scolinos Alumni Game on February 4 at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
“We want to prepare to challenge for a WCC Championship with a strong non-conference schedule,” said Hirtensteiner, who begins his second season as the team’s head coach. “Our non-conference strength of schedule in 2016 was ranked 26th in the nation and I expect 2017 to be no different. We have games against seven NCAA Regional teams, two Super Regional teams and one World Series team from 2016. There are plenty of chances for us to challenge ourselves early on this year.”
The Waves open their Texas road trip with a three-game set at Texas A&M, February 25-26. Pepperdine then takes on Sam Houston State in a midweek game (March 1) before playing three games at Rice (March 3-5). All three teams were participants in last year’s NCAA postseason, with Texas A&M making a run into the Super Regional, Rice making a Regional final and Sam Houston State making a Regional run as well.
“This road trip will be a great test for us, along with series against Cal and Grand Canyon when we come home,” said Hirtensteiner. “We hope to be a battle tested team by the time our conference schedule rolls around.”
The Waves host California for three games March 10-12, then welcome Grand Canyon for games on March 17 and 19. Sandwiched in between the Grand Canyon games will be a March 18 contest against Long Beach State, followed by a game between Grand Canyon and the Dirtbags at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
Highlighting the single-game matchups for the Waves this season will be traditional home and away contests against UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly. UC Santa Barbara is coming off of its first ever trip to the College World Series last year. Pepperdine also plays a home and away midweek series with Fresno State and will host Stony Brook.
WCC play starts on March 24 when the Waves head to Pacific for a three-game series. Pepperdine plays road series at Pacific, Portland, BYU, San Francisco and San Diego this year, and will host Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara and Saint Mary’s.
The WCC Tournament will once again be held in Stockton, Calif. at Banner Island Ballpark and will feature the top four teams in the conference at the end of the season. WCC postseason play is scheduled for May 25-27.
The Waves’ 52 game schedule consists of 26 home games and 26 away games. Pepperdine is coming off a 29-24 season and a third straight trip to the WCC Tournament. The Waves have made the NCAA Postseason two of the last three year.