Consecutive trios topples Waves, 8-3
PROVO, Utah – Adam Law belted BYU’s third-straight double during the six-run eighth inning to lead the Cougars to an 8-3 victory over league-leading Pepperdine Thursday night.
Submarine reliever Derek Speigner pitched perfect eighth and ninth innings for his second win as BYU improved to 12-13 overall and 1-3 in the West Coast Conference. The Waves fell to 14-10 overall and 5-2 in WCC play.
“I was able to get ahead with the slider to the righties,” Speigner said. “They had a hard time with it. It felt good and we started pounding the ball there in the eighth. They are one of the better teams in the conference. If we can keep playing like this, we’ll be on a roll.”
Good things eventually rolled in triplicates for the Cougars against the Waves.
With one out in the eighth inning and Pepperdine leading 3-2, the Cougars smashed three straight doubles to grab the lead. Jacob Hannemann doubled to left-center field. Brock Whitney followed with an RBI double to deep right to score Hannemann and tie the game 3-3. Law stroked an RBI double to left field, scoring Whitney and giving BYU a 4-3 lead. Law extended his hitting streak to nine games with the double. Law advanced to third on a gutsy steal that caught the Pepperdine catcher off guard.
Three straight singles turned into four more runs in that inning. After Jaycob Brugman was intentionally walked, pinch-hitter Trace Hansen executed a perfect safety squeeze bunt to score Law and extend the lead to 5-3. Bret Lopez followed up with an RBI single to right-center field to score Brugman. The throw home flew over the head of the catcher and Hansen and Lopez advanced to third and second, respectively. Jarrett Jarvis added a two-RBI single to right-center field, scoring Lopez and Hansen to expand the lead to 8-3.
“It was a huge at bat by Hannemann with his speed getting on second base,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “I’m really proud of Trace Hansen for coming in and having a really nice key at bat with a safety squeeze. He’s only had five at bats all season, tonight was in a key spot and gets it done.”
The first four innings of the game saw both teams hold leads.
Brugman tripled to the wall in left-center field to score Whitney in the first frame to give the Cougars an early 1-0 lead.
Pepperdine took a 2-1 lead in the top of third on a two-run homerun by Austin Davidson. The lead was short-lived as BYU grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, but scored a run to tie the game at 2-2.
Kolten Yamaguchi sent a lead-off homer down the line in right to put Pepperdine back on top in the fourth inning 3-2.
With Pepperdine hold the advantage in momentum, Law made an inning-ending, over-the-shoulder basket catch running into foul territory in the fifth to keep the score 3-2 in favor of the Waves.
BYU and Pepperdine traded counterpunches over the next two innings as both squads clamped down on defense.
Starting BYU pitcher Desmond Poulson scattered seven hits over seven strong innings on the night.
“It’s nice to beat a really good team, there’s not an easy out in their lineup,” Littlewood said. “This team is so resilient, I know it sounds cliche, you know we've lost four games in the ninth and it’s not because we’re killing ourselves. Desmond (Poulson) did a great job and so did Speigner.”
Game two of the three-game series from Larry H. Miller Field starts tomorrow at 6 p.m. MDT. The game with be broadcast live on BYUtv and KOVO 960 AM.
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