Pepperdine Batters Get Well in 9-7 Victory Over Northridge
Like many of his Pepperdine teammates, junior first baseman Scott Shockey has been battling the flu through the early part of the baseball season.
Going into Friday’s game at Cal State Northridge the Pepperdine team was batting a sickly .212 and had lost four of its first five games, including all three it played on the road at USC, UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona.
With Northridge leading, 7-6, in the seventh inning, Shockey demonstrated that he was regaining his strength when he belted a Robert Wheatcroft changeup over the right-field wall for a two-run homer that that was the difference in Pepperdine’s 9-7 get-well win over the Matadors.
“I tried to keep it away and not let him beat me,” said Wheatcroft, a junior right-hander who gave up 3 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings in relief of starter Cary Snyder. “It must have looked like to a balloon to him.”
“The ball was floating up there,” said Shockey, who also singled. “It was a good pitch to hit. I was looking for it.”
Meanwhile, Northridge Coach Terry Craven said he is keeping an eye out for pitchers who consistently can work ahead in the count.
“We’ve played six games and we’ve had that problem in every one,” said Craven, whose team fell to 2-4 and faces games against USC, Santa Clara, Cal State Fullerton, San Diego State and Pepperdine again.
Freshman catcher Frank Charles, who played at Montclair Prep, capped a three-run third inning for Pepperdine with a solo home run that put the Waves ahead, 4-0.
Northridge overcame the deficit in the bottom of the inning and knocked out starter Doug Simons with a 6-run, 4-hit outburst that the Waves fueled by committing three errors.
Pepperdine (2-4) tied the score in the fourth on a home run by Richard Barnwell and a run-scoring single by Rick Hirtensteiner, who was 3 for 5.
Northridge went ahead, 7-6, in the sixth when Mark Anderson tripled to left-center field, driving in Ted Weisfuss who had reached base when pitcher Randy Hacker could not handle a nubber in front of the mound.
Then came Shockey’s game-winning third home run of the season. Wheatcroft said it also served as a lesson.
“The pitchers are going to learn very quickly,” Wheatcroft said. “If you bring the ball up, it’s going to get jacked out.”
Wayne Helm, a sophomore right-hander, pitched the final 3 innings for Pepperdine. He struck out six and allowed just one hit--a bunt single by Randy Thompson in the seventh--to earn his first win.