Usually one of the most sure handed teams in Southern California, Pepperdine had committed the second fewest errors of the SoCal squads, but Tuesday the Waves struggled. Twice sinking line drives to right field ended up bouncing past the outfielder. There were multiple erratic pick-off attempts from the pitchers and even the dynamic middle infield duo of Joe Sever and Zach Vincej (pictured failing to make a tough play on a slow chopper) struggled to make all the plays.
It all culminated in the seventh inning.
UCLA trailed 2-1, but got the tying run to third base with one out when Kevin Kramer hit one of the aforementioned line drives to right field. Starter Matt Maurer, who allowed only one earned run in 6 1/3 innings, was relieved by Mat Snider. Snider struck out pinch hitter Cody Regis, but a wild pitch let UCLA tie the game.
Beau Amaral then singled and moved to third on a pick-off attempt that went wide of first base. Tyler Heineman singled home the go-ahead run; Cody Keefer reached on the third error of the inning and Jeff Gelalich hit an RBI single up the middle to make it 4-2.
The Bruins added a run in the eighth inning. Gelalich capped the scoring in the ninth with an absolute bomb over the scoreboard in right field that he and head coach John Savage both said was likely the longest of his team-leading seven home runs.
Despite the four-run lead, Savage sent closer Scott Griggs out in the ninth inning. Savage said he wanted to get Griggs and his other relievers back on the mound as soon as possible after they combined to allow 10 runs in the ninth inning against Purdue on Sunday. After walking four of the five batters he faced Sunday, Griggs walked two Waves batters and hit another before Pat Valaika made a diving play to end the game.
Neither starter factored in the decision despite both Maurer and Grant Watson (5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 K) throwing well.
Heineman scored the first run on a Trevor Brown single in the fourth inning, but Pepperdine responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half. Sam Meyer doubled home Joe Sever and then came around to score on a Bryan Langlois single.
Heineman and Brown both finished with three hits. Meyer had a pair of doubles while Sever knocked three singles and a double.
Check out the 20-shot photo gallery from Tuesday afternoon’s Pepperdine/UCLA matchup below: