Offensive Explosion Keeps Waves Atop WCC Standings
The 16 runs scored were a season high for Pepperdine and 15 hits were the second most this season.
May 4, 2014Photo Gallery
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In a battle for first place in the WCC standings, the No. 17 Pepperdine baseball team put on an offensive show, pounding Loyola Marymount for 15 hits in a 16-3 rout on Sunday afternoon.
The breakout game ends the Waves’ first three-game losing streak of the season and comes after they had put up just three runs in the first two games of the series. Pepperdine moves 1.5 games ahead of the Lions in the conference standings, improving their record to 32-12 overall and 15-6 in WCC play. LMU falls to 28-10, 15-9 WCC.
“We faced some adversity in this series and to be honest, I think that was a good thing,” said Head Coach Steve Rodriguez. “I told the guys coming in that we’re still in first place and we need to play like it. I think they did a great job of doing that and responding today.”
A nine-run second inning was more than enough for the Waves in the game, as they broke the bats out early. The visitors jumped in front thanks to seven hits and three walks in the inning, scoring eight of the nine runs with two outs.
Brad Anderson (Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza HS) got the hit parade going with a solo-shot to left field. After Brandon Caruso (Pasadena, Calif./Loyola HS) laid down a sacrifice bunt for the second out of the inning, the Waves took off. Hutton Moyer (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS), Austin Davidson (Oxnard, Calif./Oxnard HS) and Bryan Langlois (Oak Park, Calif./Oak Park HS) hit back-to-back-to-back RBI singles in the inning and LMU gave up two bases loaded walks. Caruso would come up for a second time in the inning and cap it off with a two-run double.
“It was good to be able to get the hits when we needed them today,” said Rodriguez. “The past couple of games we got guys on, but just couldn’t come up with the hits. That was the big difference today. The nine-run inning really set the tone for the rest of the day.”
Aaron Brown (Chatsworth, Calif./Chatsworth HS) did more than enough to make that early lead hold up, tossing seven scoreless innings on the mound. Brown moves to 9-1 with the win as he scattered five hits and struck out four batters on the day. The junior lefty also did his part at the plate, launching a home run to dead center in the fourth inning to make it a 10-0 ballgame. It was the fourth time this season Brown has hit a homer and recorded the win in a game, making him the only player in the country to do so that many times.
“Aaron gave us exactly what we needed today,” said Rodriguez. “He held LMU in check so our offense could do its job. For him to continue to go out there and pitch the way he has been is pretty special.”
The Waves would put up two runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, getting the capper from Chris Fornaci (Walnut Creek, Calif./De La Salle HS), who launched a pinch-hit, two-run homer to make it a 16-0 game. LMU scored its only runs of the day in the eighth and ninth, with the final two unearned due to a throwing error on what would have been the final out of the game.
Pepperdine got production up and down its lineup from the 19 players who saw action in the game, with six players driving in multiple runs and 11 players getting hits. Caruso drove in a game-high three runs and Anderson was 2-for-2 with two RBI, three runs scored and two walks on the day. Davidson had a team-high three-hit day and drove in a pair of runs. Brown’s home run was his WCC-best ninth of the season.
Tommy Cheek and Kevin Garcia each had two-hit days for LMU, with Cheek picking up the lone RBI for the home team. Starter J.D. Busfield took the loss after giving up the nine runs in the second. LMU went through five pitchers in the game.
The Waves will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to No. 3 Cal Poly for a non-conference game. Live audio of the game will be broadcast on WaveCasts at PepperdineSports.com.