Pepperdine pitcher Scott Alexander, a former star at Cardinal Newman who was an honorable-mention all-West Coast Conference selection this past season, has transferred to Sonoma State.
Alexander, a left-hander who will be a junior in the fall, said he is leaving Pepperdine to be closer to home and his ill grandmother. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Alexander, who was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 37th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, went 4-5 with a 4.11 ERA as a starter and reliever for the Waves as a sophomore.
He was an all-WCC freshman team selection in 2008 when he went 7-4 with a 4.95 ERA. He allowed 94 walks and struck out 106 in 138? innings with the Waves while making 21 starts and 11 relief appearances.
Alexander will be joined by Pepperdine teammates Tyler Hess and Bobby Cozine, who are also transferring to SSU and will also be juniors. Cozine, an outfielder, made 19 starts and hit .247 in 73 at-bats this past season. Hess, a right-hander from De La Salle High School, went 1-2 with a 7.30 ERA in 24? innings of relief.
Pepperdine coach Steve Rodriguez and pitching coach Sean Kenny did not return phone messages. SSU coach John Goelz did not comment on the transfers due to NCAA compliance issues.
Pepperdine, which won a national championship in 1992, went 31-23 in 2009 to post its 32nd straight 30-win season.
?Being at Pepperdine was a great experience,? Alexander said. ?I got to travel to a lot of cool places and I really enjoyed it. But now I?m just focused on (going to SSU), helping the team and being as good as I possibly can be. I?ve already talked to all the coaches there and I?m really excited about it.?
Alexander said Hess and Cozine made their decisions to attend SSU independently.
Hess, a 6-4, 236-pound right-hander, was a Rawlings Preseason All-American at De La Salle and led the Spartans to two North Coast Section titles. He had a 5-3 record with a 6.39 ERA at Pepperdine. He walked 49 and struck out 61 in 63? innings.
Cozine was a first-team, all-state selection as a senior at Thunder Ridge High in Highlands Ranch, Colo. He hit .244 (21 for 86) in two seasons at Pepperdine.
?It was just one of those things that we?re all going to Sonoma State. I don?t know all of their exact reasons (for transferring),? Alexander said. ?But there aren?t many Division II schools that can top them (SSU). It?s been singled out as one of the top Division II schools in the nation.?
In transferring to a Division II school, Alexander won?t have to sit out a year and will be eligible for the MLB Draft after his junior season. SSU has had an 137-43 record the past three years and and went to the 2008 College World Series. The Seawolves have had eight pitchers drafted since 2004.
?They?ve always had a very good program with a lot of talented players,? Alexander said. ?It definitely made my decision a lot easier.?
You can reach Staff Writer Eric Branch at 521-5268 or email@example.com