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Pepperdine Eliminates BYU, 7-2

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(Courtesy of Pepperdine Athletic Communications)

STOCKTON, Calif. – The Pepperdine baseball team stayed alive in the West Coast Conference Tournament with a 7-2 win over BYU on Friday.

The Waves scored five runs in the first inning and got a complete-game effort from Ryan Wilson to pick up the win and eliminate the Cougars. Pepperdine now plays the loser of the Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s game tonight at 7:30 p.m. in another elimination contest.

The Waves jumped on BYU starter Keaton Cenatiempo early, chasing him after one inning of work with five runs. Manny Jefferson hit his 12 homer of the year to open the scoring, sending a three-run shot deep to left field. Brandon Caruso then hit a two-out RBI single and Chris Fornaci (Walnut Creek, Calif./De La Salle HS) plated a fifth run with a ground-rule double. Pepperdine sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring their five runs on six hits.

BYU got a run in the third inning, hitting back-to-back two-out singles and then scoring on an error in the outfield to plate an unearned run. That was all the second-seeded Cougars could muster until the ninth inning against Wilson as he tossed his first career complete game. BYU scored a run and loaded the bases in the ninth, but Wilson got a popup to end it.

The junior lefty gave up eight hits and just one earned run, while striking out a career-high 11 batters and walking none. The earned run in the ninth inning was the first Wilson has given up to a WCC team this season. He had 24.0 innings without an earned run during regular-season WCC action.

Pepperdine added to its lead in the sixth when Aaron Barnett hit a two-out single and Fornaci scored from second with an acrobatic dive to avoid the tag at home. Fornaci later scored the Waves’ seventh run after leading off the bottom of the eighth with a double and then coming home on a sacrifice fly by Matt Gelalich.

Tonight’s game against either Saint Mary’s or Gonzaga can be seen live on TheW.tv.