The BYU baseball team defeated league-leader Pepperdine in two of three games this weekend.
BYU won Thursday’s game 8–3, Friday’s game 10–9 and lost Saturday’s game 9–6.
“To lose the last (game), that’s the last taste in your mouth and it’s kind of tough to take,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “But overall … we played and beat a great team.”
The Cougars defeated the Waves 8–3 on Thursday in a late game comeback. BYU hit three doubles and three singles in a row during the eighth inning to score six runs, while pitcher Derek Speigner pitched a perfect final two innings of the game.
“I was able to get ahead with the slider to the righties,” Speigner said. “It felt good and we started pounding the ball there in the eighth (inning).”
BYU returned to the field with Pepperdine on Friday in the second longest game of the season. The Cougars defeated the Waves 10–9, coming back from a Pepperdine lead that lasted until the bottom of the sixth inning.
“I thought we did a nice job of being aggressive at times, taking the extra base when the opportunity was there,” Littlewood said. “I’m really proud of our guys for beating a quality team.”
Second baseman Hayden Nielsen made an over-the-shoulder catch in the top of the ninth inning on a line drive over second base. Left and center fielders, Andy Isom and Jacob Hannemann, rushed to the ball as well, but communicated to Nielsen that they could not make the catch.
“Isom said ‘I don’t got it, I don’t got it,’ Hannemann said the same thing,” Nielsen said. “I stuck my glove out and said a little prayer and it just landed in there.”
Pepperdine came out strong against the Cougars on Saturday, scoring three runs in the first inning. BYU struggled to match their score for the rest of the game, and the Waves won 9–6.
“I just felt like we were scratching and clawing, but we could never really catch them,” Littlewood said. “But our guys didn’t quit, and that’s what I told them after the game.”
Littlewood told the players to “keep their heads up” even though a clean sweep would have been ideal.
“We played against a great Pepperdine team and we’ll take the series win,” Littlewood said. “I just told the guys if we had lost the first game and won the last two, we would feel a lot better walking out of the clubhouse today.”
BYU prepares to face Utah Valley University on Tuesday in Miller Park at 6 p.m. before traveling to California for a three-game series against Santa Clara.