Brown Throws Eight Innings in 3-0 Win Over Houston
March 9, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - Facing the team with the lowest ERA in the nation Sunday, the Pepperdine baseball team came away with a 3-0 win over the Houston Cougars thanks to some timely hitting and a brilliant day on the mound from Aaron Brown.
The Waves plated two runs in the fourth inning and then Bryan Langlois hit a solo shot in the fifth to give Brown more than enough run support. The junior lefty went eight innings, giving up just two hits and no walks to pick up the win.
"The pitching staff that they roll out there is very good," said head coach Steve Rodriguez of the Cougar hurlers. "They keep the ball down and attack the zone really well. I was just proud of our guys for being able to take advantage of certain situations. We had a lot of guys step up and they've been doing it all weekend."
Houston came into the day with a staff ERA of 0.85, giving up just 11 earned runs all season, and starter Jared West had a 1.69 ERA prior to Sunday. West worked quickly through the first three frames, but the Waves caught up with him the second time through the order, scoring two runs on four hits in the fourth inning.
Aaron Barnett (Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley HS) plated the first run of the game, bringing Brown (Chatsworth, Calif./Chatsworth HS) home with a double to right. West was pulled after walking the bases loaded and then Brandon Caruso (Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) came up and singled in the second run of the inning with two outs.
With two outs in the fifth, Langlois (Oak Park, Calif./Oak Park HS) hit a towering fly ball that just barely cleared the wall in left field for his second homer of the season and a 3-0 lead for the Waves.
"Our offense came through in some timely situations today," said Brown, who moves to 3-0 on the year. "It was big for us to get those runs early and it took some pressure off me. I felt great out there. All my pitches were working for me when I needed them to."
Brown struck out seven batters in the game and didn't allow a runner past first base. The only two hits of the day for Houston came in the second inning. Brown picked off the first runner to get aboard on the day and then got an inning ending strikeout to strand the second. The Cougars went down in order in each of the next five innings.
"That was one of the best outings I have seen from Brown this year, both offensively and on the mound," said Rodriguez. "It's hard when you have to do both things, but he did a great job hitting against a lot of these lefties, driving the ball to every direction, and then going out on the mound and doing a great job. That was extremely impressive."
Brown also went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored a run. Brad Anderson (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza HS) continued his hot weekend, going 3-for-3 on the day and scoring as well. In the Waves three wins this weekend, Anderson had six hits and five RBI to lead the team. The Waves posted 10 hits Sunday afternoon.
Houston made it interesting late against Pepperdine closer Eric Karch (Fresno, Calif./Clovis West HS), loading the bases with two outs. Karch was able to get the final batter to fittingly fly out to Brown in center field, though, for his fourth save of the year.
The win moves the Waves to 12-3 on the season and drops Houston to 11-3. Pepperdine will be back in action Tuesday, as they travel to UC Santa Barbara before opening conference play at home against Pacific next weekend.