First baseman Brock Whitney tripled in BYU's only run in a 9-1 loss at No. 24 Pepperdine. (Photo by BYU Photo/Todd Wakefield)
MALIBU, Calif.—Lefthander Aaron Brown handcuffed BYU in a 9-1 victory for No. 24 Pepperdine on Saturday, striking out seven Cougars and hitting a solo homer.
Pepperdine extended its West Coast Conference lead to 12-3 and 27-8 overall as it won the last two of three games against BYU, 14-23 overall and 5-10 in league play.
After stopping the Waves’ eight-game winning streak with a 1-0 victory last Thursday, BYU fell victim to Pepperdine recoiling.
Brown belted his second homer of the series and seventh dinger of the year, a solo in the fifth inning, and improved his pitching record to 7-1 as he threw seven complete innings to impress over 30 pro scouts in attendance.
“He (Brown) beat us twice (Friday and Saturday). He is a force in their lineup and feels like he owns the field,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We did a decent job with their lineup and didn’t give up on one pitch. We played hard for nine innings.”
Pepperdine jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first frame, a 6-0 margin after the second and a 7-0 score after three innings before BYU got on the board.
BYU’s Dillon Robinson advanced to second base twice in the game, in the first (error on pickoff) and fourth innings (wild pitch). Robinson scored in the fourth on a one-out triple to right field by Brock Whitney. That triple extended Whitney’s hitting streak to 13 games and closed the gap to 7-1.
The Cougars mounted a scoring effort in the sixth inning when Brennon Lund and Whitney singled with two outs, but both were stranded as Brown picked up his sixth strikeout to end that threat.
“You have to tip your cap to him (Brown),” Whitney said. “He had his stuff working today. We’re still in it if we play well at home and could sneak into the tournament.”
BYU has played 29 of its 37 games on the road this season and now readies for nine consecutive league games at home. But first it plays on Monday at No. 14 UC Santa Barbara at 1 p.m. PDT.