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Series Preview: Vanderbilt Welcomes the Pepperdine Waves to the Hawk

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Rosin-bagger!

NCAA College Baseball Malibu Regional
Yes, the most recent picture I could find of Pepperdine baseball is from 2006. Getty images needs to get more photographers out to baseball games. Hell, we still have to use pics from 2014-15.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

*Update: The game has been postponed. Doubleheader tomorrow starting at 12pm CT.

Vanderbilt will face a tough test from out west this weekend, as we welcome the Pepperdine Farm Tulane Green Waves (3-1) to The Hawk. Let’s get to know them.

The Team: The Pepperdine Farm Tulane Green Waves

The Location: Malibu, CA (ugh)

The Conference: The West Coast Conference (home of that song by Wheatus in baseball form—Long Beach State)

The Record: 3-1. The Pepperdine Farm Tulane Green Waves have actually faced some decent competition this year, and have fared better than many would have expected. In the 2019 Angels College Classic (which, we can only assume, determined whether or not a young Joseph Gordon Levitt’s father would return to claim him from foster care), the Waves ran off Cal St. Bakersfield Road-Runners 11-0, shouted down the Cal Berkeley Protestors 7-5, shocked Wichita State to the tune of 13-8, before their caffeine pill addiction got the best of them, and they did not get into Stansbury (a 6-1 loss to the Leland Stanford Junior College).

The Coach: Henry Rowengartner... err Rick Hirtensteiner (2016-present; 49-56 overall)

On Offense: The Pepperdine Farm Tulane Green Waves, save for their last game, have been whacking the ever-loving crap out of the ball to the tune of 8 runs per game, and a .284 team batting average. The Waves’ offense rides on Freshman Catcher Charlie “Grape Jelly” Welch (.400/.455/.700), Junior IF Quincy “Killed a Man, hid out in Belize, and then ran for president in the Libertarian primaries in ‘16” McAfee (.353/.421/.471), and IF/OF Brandt “Can’t watch or he has to pay $100” Belk (.333/.429/.333). They are primarily a small ball team, evidenced by their 1 HR, 5 2B, 2 3B on the season, and relatively low .729 OPS (relative to the runs they’re putting up).

*For comparison, Vanderbilt is averaging 9 runs per game, but has a .329 team batting average, a .948 team OPS, and has slugged 4 HR, 9 2B, and 3 3B on the year.

In other words, Pepperdine is putting up a lot of runs, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how they’re doing it. Have to assume the other teams have been committing throwing errors and such.

On The Mound: Their staff ace, Senior RHP Jonathan “Teddy” Pendergast, has a sparkling 1-0, 0.00 ERA 6 IP 5 K 3 H 3 BB line in an 11-0 spanking of Cal State Bakersfield. CSB is not the toughest competition, though, so take from that what you will. It will be interesting to see if Corbs sticks with his rotation of Fellows, Raby, Rocker, or if he elevates Raby to the Friday slot so we can have some hot senior on senior action. (Web traffic results will be weird this week after typing that line, I realize.)

Still, pitching has been the strength of the Waves early in the season, as they have a team ERA of 2.83.

*Note: ERA is not a flawless stat, and the Waves have given up 8 unearned runs, so they have allowed just under 5 runs per game. Of course, this still dwarfs our current 8.23 ERA (though curiously enough, we have not surrendered one unearned run thus far—when we surrender damn near a run per inning, we earn it, con sarn it!).

Probable Pitching Match-Ups (according to Vucommodores.com)

FRIDAY 4:30pm CT (SECN+): RHP Drake Fellows (0-0, 11.25 ERA) vs. RHP Jonathan Pendergast (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

SATURDAY 2:00pm CT (SECN+): RHP Patrick Raby (1-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. LHP Easton Lucas (0-0, 7.20 ERA)

SUNDAY 1:00pm CT (SECN+): TBA vs. RHP Cooper Chandler (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

See you in the comments (as this will also serve as a game thread).

*Update: Harrison Ray makes his season debut at the hot corner; Ty Duvall to DH.