A season-high 20 hits led to a 13-6 victory by BYU baseball over Pepperdine on Friday.
After trailing in the first inning from a three-run homer by Wave designated hitter Jordan Qsar, the Cougars answered repeated challenges. BYU, now 14-11 overall, avenged Thursday’s shutout by Pepperdine, now 11-14.
The first answer was an RBI double by freshman Mitch McIntyre to right center to plate Keaton Kringlen. Seldom-used catcher Noah Hill was a spark plug when he hit a slider away and grounded out to the right side to score Brian Hsu to close the gap, 3-2.
Then it was senior pitcher Hayden Rogers' turn as he fanned the Waves in order, swinging, looking and swinging in the second inning. Those were Rogers’ only strikeouts of the game as he went five-plus innings to improve his record to 4-2.
“I couldn't be more proud of our guys for showing up and playing a solid nine innings,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “It would have been easy to quit after they put up three in the first inning, but both Hayden and our entire offense stepped up. Drew (Zimmerman) was lights out for us at the back end of the game tonight.”
The Cougars took the lead in the six-run third frame when Hsu hit a two-run double to plate Brock Hale and Kringlen, who both had singled with two outs. Nate Favero’s single down the right-field line scored Hsu for a 5-3 advantage, and then McIntyre walked before a pitching change. Hill singled on the first pitch of the reliever to plate Favero, and Brennon Anderson singled in McIntyre for an 8-3 lead. Daniel Schneemann walked with the bases loaded to score Hill for the sixth run of the inning.
Right fielder Hale made a sliding catch in foul territory to end the bleeding in the five-run sixth inning and a similar out in the eighth.
In the seventh, Favero and Hill singled and were on the corners when Anderson’s deep one-out single to left scored Favero for a 9-6 lead. Hsu grounded a single up the middle to score Favero for a 10-6 margin in the eighth. Hsu scored when McIntyre picked up an RBI and he got aboard on a throwing error by the shortstop.
Hale got a two-run single when his blast went off the knee of the Wave pitcher to increase the lead to 13-6.
“Everyone got that frustration out from yesterday, and it showed on the scoreboard,” Hale said, who went 4-for-6 with a pair of RBIs. “We are a resilient team, and it was a must-win for us. I just tried to stay relaxed and put the ball on the ground, and we played base-to-base.”
Hsu was 3-for-5, including a double and had three RBIs.
Closer Drew Zimmerman picked up his third save of the season, throwing the final 2.2 innings as he entered the game with Wave runners on second and third and protected the 9-6 lead.
The rubber match in the three-game series for both teams now tied at 3-5 in the West Coast Conference is 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 byucougars.com/staff/athletics/ralph-zobell or contact him at [email protected].