Bronson Larsen leads the team with eight homers after a pair of dingers in an 11-7 loss to Pepperdine in Provo. (Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah - After winning four straight games and six straight West Coast Conference matchups, BYU surrendered its first-place standing in the WCC as the Cougars fell to Pepperdine 11-7 on Thursday at Larry H. Miller Field
"They did well at the plate," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "They hit balls hard and placed soft hits. We were wild on the pitchiing side. We really wanted to dominate the outside of the plate today and we didn't spot it well there or anywhere else today."
The Cougars (18-13, 7-3 WCC) battled from down seven runs to the Waves (17-15, 6-4 WCC) in the sixth inning to come within four in the seventh, but the Cougars would not get closer than that as the Waves continued to knock the ball around the field while also knocking BYU out of first place in the the conference. BYU gave up 18 hits while logging 13 of their own.
Bronson Larsen hit two home runs against the Waves and extended his season total to eight, still leading all Cougars, while recording three RBI. Colton Shaver came up with a home run of his own to total five on the season, and Brennon Anderson went 3-4 from the plate while recording one RBI.
Starting pitcher Maverik Buffo gave up one run in the top of the first inning, but the Cougars evened things up in the second with a single through the right side from Brennon Anderson to bring home Colton Shaver from third base.
Three doubles and a single from the Waves added four runs to their tally in the top of the fourth to take a 5-1 lead over BYU.
In the bottom half, the Cougars responded with a Shaver home run over the left-center fence to cut the deficit to 5-2.
In the top of the fifth, left-handed pitcher Bo Burrup replaced Buffo on the mound for the Cougars. Buffo went four innings and gave up five runs on eight hits.
Both teams came up with scoreless fifth frames, but a triple and a double with two outs gave Pepperdine another two runs in the top of the sixth and an error plating another Wave home to lengthen the lead to 8-2. Connor Williams finished up the inning for BYU, but not before another Wave double brought a fourth runner home to push their advantage to 9-2.
Tanner Chauncey extended his team-leading hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single to score Brian Hsu in the sixth for BYU. After BYU shut down Pepperdine in the top of the seventh, Keaton Kringlen lined a single to center field before Bronson Larsen hoisted a home run over the left field fence for two more BYU runs, closing the deficit to four runs at 9-5.
A Williams wild pitch and a Pepperdine base hit through the six hole scored another two runners for the Waves to push the lead to six. In the bottom of the eighth, Anderson doubled down the right field line and aggressively took third when Pepperdine's right fielder mishandled the ball. He then came home on a wild pitch for BYU's lone run in the eighth.
Larsen hit back-to-back home runs with his solo blast in the ninth, sending it over the left field fence yet again to cut the Wave advantage to four, but it was not enough as the Cougars fell to the Waves 11-7.
BYU will return to Miller Field tomorrow for game two against the Waves. The game will begin at 6 p.m. MDT and be broadcast on TheW.tv and BYU Radio.