BYU Blanks Pepperdine 1-0 in Series Opener
April 10, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine baseball team gave up a costly run in the ninth inning to BYU on Thursday afternoon, falling to the visiting Cougars 1-0 in the first game of the teams’ three-game series.
The loss ends the 24th-ranked Waves’ eighth-game winning streak and is the team’s first conference loss since March 16.
BYU scored the lone run of the game in the top of the ninth inning, getting a sacrifice fly from Kelton Caldwell to take the 1-0 advantage. Corey Miller (Laguna Niguel, Calif./JSerra Catholic HS) was charged with the run after loading the bases prior to his exit from the game. Eric Karch (Fresno, Calif./Clovis West HS) was able to come in and end the inning with a groundout, keeping the Waves well within striking distance heading to the bottom of the ninth.
The comeback wasn’t to be, however, as Pepperdine managed just one base runner in the ninth. Aaron Barnett (Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley HS) got the lone hit of the inning for the home team. Barnett’s single with one out was just the fourth hit of the day for the Waves.
BYU starter Jeff Barker tossed 7.1 innings, giving up three hits and no runs. He gave way to Brandon Kinser in the eighth after allowing two Pepperdine runners to reach base. Some fortuitous defensive placement helped Kinser get out of the jam, as Aaron Brown (Chatsworth, Calif./Chatsworth HS) hit a hard liner that looked to be heading for centerfield, but was instead caught by the shortstop right behind second base, leading to an inning-ending double play.
Kinser got the win as the pitcher of record when BYU scored in the ninth. He moves to 1-1 on the year.
Miller took the loss despite 8.1 innings pitched where he gave up one run on eight hits. He struck out five batters on the day. It was Millers first loss since the first game of the season back on February 14.
The Waves fall to 25-8 overall, 10-3 WCC and BYU moves to 14-21, 5-8 WCC. The two teams face off again tomorrow at 3 p.m.