Posted: Apr 07, 2019
MALIBU, Calif. – Billy Cook hit a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Pepperdine a 5-4 win over Santa Clara baseball on Sunday to take the weekend West Coast Conference series.
Santa Clara (6-23, 1-8 WCC) had a golden opportunity to win the rubber match when catcher Tony Boetto hit a two-RBI single in the top of the eighth to give the Broncos a 4-3 lead.
However, in the bottom of the ninth, Wyatt Young tied it up on an RBI infield single off Broncos closer Eric Lex who was trying to earn a two-inning save. Lex tossed a scoreless eighth but issued a leadoff walk in the ninth to Mike Malinchak who advanced to second on Cory Wills' sacrifice bunt. With two outs, after Lex struck out pinch-hitter Justin Lutes, Young hit the ball up the middle that Broncos shortstop Dawson Brigman ranged to his left. Brigman fired the ball to first that Young barely beat out as Malinchak continued to run from second to score the game tying run.
In the extra inning, Locke Bernhardt (1-1) came in relief of Lex and picked up two quick outs before Cook took him deep for the game-winner.
Trevor Kinskern (3-3) pitched the last three innings earned the win for Pepperdine (16-11, 7-5 WCC).
The game went back and forth with each team grabbing the lead late in the game.
In the seventh with the game all knotted at 2-all, Pepperdine took the lead 3-2 on Young's first RBI single of the game off reliever Travis Howard. Howard pitched effectively as it was the only run he allowed in 3 2/3 innings of work.
The Broncos answered with two runs in the eighth to re-take the lead 4-3. Jason Dicochea and Andre Nnebe led off the inning with a single and a walk off Waves starter Jonathan Pendergast. Dicochea advanced to third on an interference call against the shortstop on a pickoff attempt putting the runners at the corners. The game was delayed for about 10 minutes as the Waves head coach Rick Hirtensteiner argued the call and the game was played under protest the rest of the way.
With the lengthy delay and Pendergast having thrown 100 pitches, Kniskern was brought in. He hit Jake MacNichols to load the bases before giving up the two-RBI single to Boetto.
Boetto and Brigman each had two hits in the game to lead the Broncos.
Santa Clara kicks off a season long nine-game homestand starting on Tuesday when it welcomes Sacramento State. First pitch is at 6 p.m.