April 10, 2010

Alex Rivers Blanks Pepperdine, SCU Wins 3-0

April 10, 2010

Final Stats | Video interview with freshman Pat Stover

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Alex Rivers kept Pepperdine off balance all night, relying on his slider and curveball to rack up nine strikeouts and give Santa Clara a 3-0 shutout victory Saturday at Stephen Schott Stadium.

"I thought I had really good command of my pitches tonight," said Rivers who faced just five over the minimum. "I didn't try to ease up, I went out there and let it rip. It's not everyday you throw a complete game shutout, I'm pretty amped up right now."

Back-to-back opposite field singles by Curtis Wagner and Ryan Rieger plated two first-inning runs for SCU. The early offense supplied Rivers with a 2-0 lead.

Rivers (3-4) did the rest, retiring 10 straight at one point to keep the Waves off the scoreboard through the middle innings. Pepperdine (11-16; 1-1 WCC) would generate next to nothing against Rivers, who allowed three hits, issued a pair of walks and hit two batters.

Shortstop Evan Peters made a terrific diving play in support of Rivers in the seventh and if not for a misplayed fly ball in the first inning, Rivers would have taken a no-hitter into the sixth.

"What Alex did tonight was special," said Santa Clara head coach Mark O'Brien. "He competed and stayed focused. He was pitch-efficient. He gave us a huge boost tonight."

Santa Clara (14-15; 1-4 WCC) avoided losing its fifth-straight to start West Coast Conference play.

Wave starter Cole Cook (1-4) - a preseason All-WCC pick by the league's coaches - turned in another quality start but continues to be plagued by limited run support.

Cook surrendered two runs on five hits through seven innings before allowing an RBI-single to Wagner in the eighth. The run was timely insurance for Rivers, stretching a two-run lead to three.

Wagner finished the night 2-for-4, marking his 13th multi-hit game of 2010. Wagner entered the weekend as the WCC's top hitter with a .415 average.

The three-game set concludes Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

GAME NOTES: UT Tommy Medica's (.395 BA) hitting streak came to an end at 21 games - the second longest streak in the NCAA this season... The game lasted 2 hours and 29 minutes, SCU's shortest game of the season... DH Ryan Rieger (.250 BA) went 2-for-4 in his first start since March 26... The complete game shutout was the second of the year for Rivers, who held San Jose State scoreless on March 6... Pepperdine and Santa Clara have traded shutouts - Wave lefty Matt Bywater threw a four-hit gem in last night's opener... Pepperdine drops to 2-11 on the road.