The Waves (12-4) rallied around their stellar defense and got just enough offense to pull out the victory, despite a season-high 10 walks from their pitching staff.
The Anteaters (8-7) got on the board first when D.J. Crumlich led off with a double and came around to score on a Jeff Stephens single.
The Waves immediately responded scoring two runs in the first inning on an infield single by Sam Meyer and an Aaron Brown sacrifice fly. In the second inning, Pepperdine starter Matt Maurer walked the bases loaded with no outs. The sophomore southpaw was able to minimize the damage, allowing only a single run that came on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt.
The score remained tied until the fifth inning when Pepperdine manufactured a run. Leading off the inning, Austin Davidson drove a ball the other way to left-centerfield that tailed just out of centerfielder Christian Ramirez’s reach, going for a double. Davidson moved to third base on a sacrifice and scored on a sacrifice fly from Zach Vincej.
That was all the offense Maurer and three relievers needed as UC Irvine’s offense couldn’t build off its 14-hit attack on Saturday against BYU. The Anteaters struggled to get hits once again, managing only three for the game. Connor Spencer’s single to lead off the seventh inning was Irvine’s only hit after the first inning.
Pepperdine freshman closer Aaron Brown made it interesting in the ninth inning by walking three batters around a double play, forcing coach Steve Rodriguez to bring in Michael Swanner to get the final out with runners on first and second. Swanner was able to get a lazy popup to shallow right field to end the game.
It was the first save of the season for Swanner. Despite five walks, Maurer pitched into the sixth inning to collect his third win of the season.
Check out the full photo gallery from the Pepperdine/UC-Irvine Tuesday afternoon matchup below: