Pepperdine Falls 5-4 At No. 17 UC Irvine

Alex Najera and his defense stranded 12 runners on base from the first through seventh innings.

May 4, 2011

Box Score

Pepperdine and UC Irvine Box Score (May 4, 2011) Get Acrobat Reader

IRVINE, Calif. – A 4-1 Pepperdine lead disappeared with two outs in the eighth as host UC Irvine stunned the Waves with four runs to complete a 5-4 comeback victory Tuesday night at Anteater Ballpark.

The loss dropped Pepperdine’s season record to 18-22, while the 17th-ranked Anteaters improved to 29-12 and 18-1 at home.

The Anteaters threatened to take the lead all game and finally did so against Pepperdine relievers Brian McIlhenny (Scottsdale, Ariz./Brophy College Preparatory) and Eric Karch (Fresno, Calif./Clovis West HS) after starter Alex Najera (Anaheim Hills, Calif./Canyon HS) had given his club 6.2 effective innings.

McIlhenny received two quick ground outs to start the eighth before giving up three straight singles to UCI’s No.7, 8 and 9 hitters, the last of which was an RBI knock by Tommy Reyes that plated Ronnie Schaeffer.

Karch entered with two on, and then moved those inherited runners into scoring position with a wild pitch before loading the bases with a walk to Crumlich. Sean Madigan cleared the bases with a sinking line drive to center that just missed the glove of a diving Brian Humphries (El Cajon, Calif./Granite Hills HS).

Jimmy Litchfield, the sixth reliever used tonight by UCI, picked up the win despite only tossing 0.2 innings in the top of the eighth; however, he did hold a runner at third base. Brian Hernandez earned the save behind a 1-2-3 ninth.

Najera, who was in line for the win, surrendered one run on two hits with three strikeouts. He also walked seven but consistently got out of jams with three double play ground balls. Between the first and seventh innings, Najera and his defense stranded 12 Anteater runners.

The Waves first lit the scoreboard with two runs in the second. Joe Sever (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Preparatory) led off the inning with a hit by pitch and scored on Nate Johnson’s (Camarillo, Calif./Camarillo HS) RBI double down the right-field line. Johnson scored one batter later on David DiPaola’s sacrifice fly to left.

UCI cut the Pepperdine lead in half with one run in the fourth as Jordan Fox scored from third on Christian Ramirez’ RBI ground ball to second base.

A one-out error in the sixth helped the Waves push their lead to 4-1. Brian Humphries (El Cajon, Calif./Granite Hills HS) scorched a ground ball to short, but the throw from D.J. Crumlich pulled Fox off the bag. Trent Diedrich (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) and Sam Meyer (Los Altos, Calif./St. Francis HS) followed with consecutive walks to load the bases, and then Sever drove in a run with a shot off the leg of reliever Nick Hoover.

With the bases still loaded UCI made another pitching change, going to Andy Lines who walked Johnson to bring home Diedrich.

Pepperdine returns to action this Mother’s Day weekend for a three game home series against WCC rival Santa Clara. Friday’s first pitch is slated for 3 p.m., while Saturday’s and Sunday’s contests will commence at 1 p.m.

Sunday’s Mother’s Day game will be dedicated to senior Floyd Given’s (Rohnert Park, Calif./Rancho Cotate HS) mother, Debbie, who is battling cancer.

Fans in attendance will be able to make donations to the American Cancer Society in Debbie’s honor and pick-up helpful information about cancer prevention, detection, treatment and volunteer opportunities with the American Cancer Society. Those unable to attend can also donate and find more information at

UC Irvine 5, Pepperdine 4 (May 04, 2011 at Irvine, CA)


Pepperdine.......... 020 002 000  -  4  6  1      (18-21)

UC Irvine........... 000 100 04X  -  5  7  2      (29-12)


Pitchers: Pepperdine - Najera, Alex; McILHENNY, Brian(7); KARCH, Eric(8) and . UC Irvine -

Hooper; Slaught(3); Hoover(6); Lines(6); Sandler(7); Litchfield(8); Hernandez(9) and .

Win-Litchfield(2-0)  Save-Hernandez(9)  Loss-KARCH, Eric(4-4)  T-3:10  A-632

Weather: 73 degrees, 11mph SW



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