When I first planned this trip, I had 3 events scheduled for this day: an NCAA golf tournament in the morning, an NCAA baseball game at 3 in the afternoon, and an NBA game in the evening. The schedule was tight and I figured I'd have to leave the baseball game early to deal with the LA rush hour to get to the Staples Center on time.
Fortunately, though, things sorted themselves out. First, the golf tourney was being held at a private club. Public spectators were welcome, but there was a dress code for which I did not bring the necessary accoutrement (i.e. no jeans allowed). Secondly, the ballgame at Pepperdine was moved to 2 pm, so I would be able to see all of that and still have plenty of time to make it downtown for the Clippers and Timberwolves. And that's what I did.
Eddy D. Field Stadium
The Pepperdine campus is in Malibu, just off the Pacific Coast Highway, comfortably nestled in the seaside cliffs. In the middle of it is a jewel of a ballpark, Eddy D. Field Stadium, opened in 1973 and renovated a couple of times since then.
Arriving on campus, you'll receive a free parking pass at the gate and drive up the road to the parking lot. You can park right behind the outfield fence but there is a sign warning of baseball damage, so most people park in an upper lot.
I parked in a small lower lot near the fence and from here, took an indirect path to the park, walking up about 100 stairs to get a great overhead view of the stadium and the surrounding area, and then walking back down and entering the concourse behind home plate.
Tickets are apparently $8 but I must have walked in the wrong way because I never saw anybody charging admission. I did get there quite early, over an hour before game time, so perhaps they didn't have gates set up yet. I did notice that other fans had a stamp on their hands so I guess I got away with one.
All seats are box and unreserved. There are about 2000 seats total and the entire seating section is protected by a screen.
There is one small concession stand selling pretzels, hot dogs, and Cracker Jack at prices you would find in a convenience store.
There is no cover from the sun, so bring a hat if it is a clear day. Sunglasses are also a necessity as it is bright throughout the afternoon.
Overall, this is one of the best places I have ever enjoyed a ballgame. You can't beat natural scenic beauty and that alone makes Eddy D. Field worth visiting.
USC won their first 7 games of the season and moved into the top 25 rankings at #21, while Pepperdine was a respectable 6-2. I still expected a blowout though, and got one, but not with the expected winner.
After two scoreless innings, the Waves got on the board in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded thanks to a couple of walks and a single, Joe Sever (being congratulated at home above) crushed a pitch from Trojan starter Brandon Garcia over the left field fence for a grand slam and a 4-0 lead.
USC managed a run in their 5th when James Roberts (above) doubled and scored on a single by Garret Houts, but Pepperdine promptly replied with a sacrifice fly from Tony Cooper. The sixth inning also saw both teams score a run, with Pepperdines's coming on a monster homer from Sam Meyer (below), who also played solid defense at first.
The Waves added a final run in the 7th on a HBP with the bases loaded and USC never threatened to make the final was 7-2. Matt Maurer picked up the win for the Waves, going 5.1 solid innings and giving up just the 2 runs.
Not a fantastic game, but great to see a smaller program beat a larger one. I've never seen baseball in February before, and it was sweet to be sitting outside in the sunshine after two weeks of watching hockey in Canada.
Pepperdine was the national champion in 1992 and has won the West Coast Conference on several occasions, so they are not a weak team. Interestingly, they beat Cal State Fullerton in the final that year, and I'll be finishing the trip with a game there tomorrow.