Bronson Larsen scored the first of BYU's runs in a 7-2 loss as it was eliminated from the WCC Tournament by Pepperdine. (Photo by West Coast Conference)
STOCKTON, Calif. (May 27, 2016) — An uncharacteristic outing forced an early exit from the West Coast Conference baseball tournament Friday afternoon as No. 30 BYU was eliminated by Pepperdine, 7-2.
For the second time in as many days the Cougars (37-17) fell victim to multiple strikeouts from a pitcher who threw a complete game. Pepperdine (29-23) jumped out to a 5-0 first-inning lead which was capped by the pitching of Ryan Wilson, normally the Waves’ ace reliever.
The left-handed Wilson struck out 11 and scattered eight hits to improve to 2-0, yielding his first earned run since February.
A three-run homer by Wave Manny Jefferson helped chase BYU starter Keaton Cenatiempo from the mound after the first inning. Cenatiempo was relieved by Mason Marshall, who gave the Cougars ample opportunity to mount an attack after the fifth and sixth innings when he retired Pepperdine on five and six pitches, respectively.
The Cougars strung multiple hits in the third and ninth innings, resulting in a run each inning. In the third frame, Bronson Larsen hit the first of three BYU singles, scoring after Tanner Chauncey’s centerfield single was bobbled. Chauncey was 3-for-4 on the afternoon.
Chauncey accounted for BYU’s score in the ninth also due to a Wave error after his one-out double was followed by consecutive singles by Keaton Kringlen and Brennon Anderson for the earned run. Kringlen’s single extended the WCC’s Freshman of the Year’s hitting streak to 11 games.
The tri-champion Cougars await hope for their season to continue as an at-large entry if they make the 64-team field in the NCAA baseball tournament when it is announced Monday.