Aaron Brown and Austin Davidson homered as No. 24 Pepperdine evened the series with a 6-4 victory over BYU on Friday.
Those homers made the difference, although BYU had the game-winning run at bat in the ninth inning. First-place Pepperdine improved to 26-8 and 11-3 in the West Coast Conference, while BYU is 14-22 and 5-9.
“It was frustrating, but I loved our fight,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “If we keep doing this it is going to help us get that fourth spot in the tournament (WCC). But we can’t afford to lose too many.”
Brown’s two-run homer came in the first inning and Davidson’s solo shot led the three-run fifth inning for the Waves.
“He (Brown) almost single handedly beat us and that set the tone for the game,” Littlewood said. “They (Brown and Davidson) are two of the best players in the country. Every time they come up to the plate they are a threat.”
BYU out-hit the Waves, 13-8, but Brown made a ninth-inning catch in center field that saved a run and preserved the win. The Cougars missed capitalizing on several chances throughout the game.
Behind 2-0, BYU got out of a jam in the second when right fielder Kelton Caldwell caught a line drive and turned an inning-ending double play when his throw beat the runner back to first base.
Cougars Brennon Lund and Dillon Robinson picked up a pair of singles in the third, with Lund extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Lund advanced to third on Robinson’s left-field poke, and then both were stranded on the corners.
BYU picked up its first run in the fourth inning when Jarrett Jarvis scored off Hayden Nielsen's single to left field. Caldwell was hung up between second and third in a rundown but made it safely back to second.
Davidson’s solo homer in the three-run fifth started the damage for Pepperdine as Kolton Mahoney was replaced on the mound by James Lengal.
In the sixth inning, BYU loaded the bases and Lund beat out an RBI single with two outs, scoring Caldwell and closing the score to 6-2.
BYU loaded the bases again in the ninth, starting with consecutive singles by Robinson and Brock Whitney. Whitney’s single extended his hitting streak to 12 games. The Cougars got an RBI single from Bret Lopez, narrowing the margin to 6-3 and forcing another Wave pitching change. Eric Urry singled to score Whitney for the final run.
The BYU-Pepperdine series concludes with game three on Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT.
Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at http://byucougars.com/staff/athletics/ralph-zobell or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company