BYU baseball dropped two-of-three games over the weekend to West Coast Conference rival Pepperdine.
The Cougars won 9-5 Thursday afternoon, but fell short Friday and Saturday games. The Cougars are now 31-13 overall and 13-8 WCC. They no longer lead the conference.
“We gave it everything we had today,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “Riley Gates and Mason Marshall did a great job on the mount, but Pepperdine was better today.”
In Thursday’s game Pepperdine took a two run lead after the first, but the Cougars battled back with a two-run homer from Brennon Lund, tying the score 2-2 in the second inning.
The Waves connected in the third and fourth innings putting men on bases, but right-hander Michael Rucker left them stranded with five straight strikeouts. Rucker was relieved by Keaton Cenatiempo with a 5-3 lead over the Waves.
“Mike Rucker was a warrior as usual and battled his way through six straight innings,” Littlewood said. “Keaton Cenatiempo stepped up big for us and got us nine big outs. We had good energy during batting practice and it carried over into the game.”
Tanner Chauncey was also a key factor for the Cougars, hitting a two run single up the middle during the fifth inning, and later hit a single RBI into right during the seventh for what became the game winning run.
The Cougars finished with a 9-5 victory.
“Puckett had as good of stuff as we’ve seen this year, but we put great at bats together,” Littlewood said. “Lund came up with a big hit to tie the game and we eventually chased him.”
Pepperdine evened the series by keeping the Cougars scoreless with a 3-0 victory in game two on Friday afternoon.
Pepperdine scored early in the first with a single RBI up the middle, but BYU wasn’t able to answer them back which became a game-long struggle for the Cougars.
“That was the turning point in the game when we failed to put a run on the board,” Littlewood said. “If we got on the board first it’s probably a different outcome.”
BYU only hit five singles during the evening from Eric Urry and Tanner Chauncey, who continued their hitting streaks to eight and six games, respectively.
The Cougars took the initial 1-0 lead in game three Saturday afternoon and kept it until the Waves’ Brad Anderson hit a grand slam in the sixth inning making it 4-1. The Cougars rally in the ninth was cut short after scoring a pair of runs with two outs.
BYU baseball’s next game is on Tuesday, May 10, against Utah Valley University in Orem.