BYU baseball: Nielsen’s walk–off single beats Pepperdine in extras

Ari Davis
Dillion Robinson rounds third base and gives his coach a high five after hitting his first home run in the 2015 season. (Universe photo)

The bases were loaded in the bottom of the 10th when a walk-off single from Hayden Nielsen gave BYU baseball a winning series against Pepperdine, the team picked to finish second in the WCC.

“My hands are still shaking,” Nielsen said after Saturday’s game. “That was such a great win for our team, and to be able to step up and get a hit like that is awesome. We’re just going to keep battling, and we don’t quit.”

Saturday’s games sealed the deal, as BYU took a 6-5 win with 12 hits, six runs and no errors against Pepperdine’s 11 hits, five runs and two errors. A triple from Jarrett Jarvis in the bottom of the second gave the Cougars an early 4-1 lead that they held on to until the Waves caught up, taking a 5-4 lead in the eighth. A Cole Wilstead RBI single tied it back up as the game headed into extra innings, sending Nielsen back to the plate for his game–winning hit.

The series started off with a BYU loss 11-3 on Thursday, ending its five-game win streak. The Cougars struggled defensively, walking 11 batters, hitting a batter and recording two errors.

“You cannot win ball games like that,” coach Mike Littlewood said. “Fourteen times you are giving them first base.”

The Cougars came back with a new attitude on Friday when a single from Tanner Chauncey led to a 5-3 victory. The game was tied 3-3 going into the seventh. A throwing error from Pepperdine put Hayden Nielsen on base and advanced Derrick Whitney to third, and Chauncey’s single brought Whitney home.

“I can’t say enough about our guys and how they came back tonight and battled and were resilient,” Littlewood said.

The Cougars come out of the series with a 2–1 conference record and a 9–11 record overall.

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