A week after Pepperdine rallied from a five-run deficit to force an 8-8 tie with Long Beach State in a fall exhibition, the Waves cruised to a 14-3 win over the Dirtbags in Malibu on Sunday. Junior transfer Collin Rooney blasted a three-run homer in the eighth inning that broke open a four-run game, and the Waves tacked on five more runs over the final two innings of the predetermined 10-inning contest, with help from four Long Beach errors. The Dirtbags made six errors in the game.
Pepperdine’s pitching should be its strength in 2009, but its arms were far from overpowering Sunday, as seven Wave pitchers combined to issue 10 walks and allow eight hits. But Long Beach stranded 13 runners, while Pepperdine stranded just six.
Baseball America’s Dave Perkin saw the Waves last week and came away impressed with touted freshmen Brian Humphries and Aaron Gates. "Brian Humphries is a potential multi-tool outfielder with some speed, a good arm, and an ideal frame," Perkin reported. "From watching this scrimmage, it appears as if they will make him a middle of the order hitter right away."
Gates will play two ways to start his career, similar to former UCLA lefthander/outfielder Tim Murphy. Perkin said he’s seen Gates’ fastball up to 91 mph to go along with a sharp 77 mph curve. "Gates’ build is similar to Murphy’s, and I never saw that stuff out of Tim at a similar stage," Perkin said. "So keep tabs on Gates as time progresses."
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