April 9, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Pepperdine ace Matt Bywater retired the final 13 Santa Clara batters in order en route to a complete-game shutout victory in the Waves' series-opening win over Santa Clara Friday night, 8-0.
Locked in a pitcher's duel with Santa Clara's Nate Garcia, Bywater watched teammate Ryan Heroy belt a three-run homer in the ninth - part of a six-run inning against the SCU relief corps which changed the game and assured Pepperdine (11-15; 1-0 WCC) of the win.
Santa Clara (13-15; 0-4 WCC) has lost four-straight. Garcia was impressive, matching a career-high with 13 strikeouts. The senior from San Jose raised his career strikeout total to 309, becoming just the fifth pitcher in school history reach the 300 K milestone.
"If there is a guy you want in your program its Nate Garcia," said Santa Clara head coach Mark O'Brien after the game Friday night. "I have the utmost respect for him. He has been successful at this level and I know he will be successful at the next level."
Garcia (2-6) struck out the side in the fifth and got out of a jam in the eighth by blowing a fastball past Zachary Vincej. Garcia gave the Broncos a chance to win, allowing just two runs but Bywater was untouchable in the game's later stages.
Bywater (3-3) allowed just four hits and fanned 10. Both Heroy and Floyd Given finished the night with three hits.
Given's solo homerun - an opposite-field drive to left centerfield - initiated the scoring in the third inning. The Waves would add another run in the fourth on an RBI single by Vincej.
Trailing 2-0, Santa Clara loaded the bases against Bywater in the fifth but an inning-ending double play ended the threat. It would be the last real scoring opportunity for SCU.
"We had our chances," added O'Brien. "(Bywater) won more battles tonight. I tip my cap to him he is a good pitcher. We need to walk in here tomorrow with a short memory."
GAME NOTES: Tommy Medica wasted no time extending his hitting streak to 21 games by ripping the first pitch he saw from Bywater in the first inning into centerfield... Santa Clara's high-powered offense has been held to 10 runs through the first four WCC games... Six of Pepperdine's 17 hits were infield singles... Saturday's game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.