MALIBU, Calif. — March didn't exit like a lion; it was more like a Cougar as BYU's baseball team won 5-4 in 12 innings on Thursday at Pepperdine.
Freshmen Jaycob Brugman and Kolton Mahoney joined senior Alex Hancock and junior Matthew Neil in contributing to BYU's win. Hancock got a leadoff, pinch-hit single in the 12th and was doubled home by Brugman.
That double was the only extra-base hit of the game and kept the freshman's hitting streak alive at five games. Relief pitcher Mahoney was the beneficiary of that run as it improved his record to 3-1. Mahoney was replaced by a pair of relievers in the 12th, the last of which was Neil, who garnered his second save when he struck out the first of two batters and enticed the second to ground out to him.
"We didn't give in," said BYU coach Vance Law. "We continued to battle. We hit some hard balls right at them, but found ways to get guys home."
BYU lost a 3-0 lead in the four-run fifth, but tied the score in the eighth. Senior Dane Nielsen drew a leadoff walk in the eighth and advanced to third on a sacrifice by Brugman and a groundout by Stephen Wells. Nielsen tied the game when Andrew Law bunted down the third-base line for a single.
Cougar relievers Justin Shutt, Chunner Nyberg and Mahoney held the Waves hitless in the eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th innings. Two of BYU's early runs came on a bases-loaded walk by Brugman and a foul-ball sacrifice flyout by Wes Guenther to left field.
BYU improved to 13-11 overall, while Pepperdine is now 13-12. The second of the three-game series is this afternoon.