BYU baseball launches five home runs in Senior Day victory
BYU's Cole Gambill watches the ball as he hits a home run against Pepperdine in a West Coast Conference baseball game at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
BYU's seniors pose on the field after a 14-7 victory against Pepperdine at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
BYU's Abraham Valdez hustles to first base during a West Coast Conference baseball game against Pepperdine at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
BYU baseball played long ball on its way to defeating Pepperdine 14-7 on Saturday in the season finale at Miller Park. The Cougars collected 19 hits, including five home runs, to win its final WCC series 2-1.
“We couldn’t have scripted today’s senior day any better,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “The seniors all had a big impact on today’s game and the overall series win. I’m really pleased how we fought all year long and made great improvement the last few weeks.”
The seniors included first baseman Freddy Achecar, outfielders Danny Gelalich and Mitch McIntyre, catcher Abraham Valdez and pitchers Easton Walker and Drew Zimmerman.
Pepperdine got on the board early with a solo home run by center fielder Billy Cook. BYU answered in the bottom of the first with three runs off four hits. McIntyre homered to left center to lead off the bottom half. Gelalich then singled to left field and Andrew Pintar drove him home with his second home run of the three-game series to give the Cougars a 3-1 advantage.
BYU (23-27, WCC 15-12) tacked on three more runs in the second inning with back-to-back bombs by Brock Watkins and McIntyre. Pintar then tripled to left center and Cole Gambill singled to center field to give BYU a 6-1 advantage through two innings.
The Waves got two runs back in the top of the third inning courtesy of a single by Wyatt Young and Cook’s second home run of the game, which cut the Cougars lead to 6-3.
BYU then blew the game wide open in a six-run fourth inning. With two on and two outs, Vest tripled to left center to drive in Joshua Cowden and Gambill. Valdez then singled to left field, scoring Cooper Vest. A Watkins single and a walk by McIntyre set up a double down the right field line by Gelalich scoring all three runs and giving the Cougars a 12-3 advantage.
BYU picked up two more runs in the top of the seventh to complete the Cougars’ scoring.
Pepperdine scored twice in the fifth on a Young-Cook repeat of the third inning and scratched out one run in each of the seventh and ninth innings for the final score of 14-7.
The two squads combined for 34 hits, eight home runs and 21 runs. BYU won the last four WCC series’ of the year, including 11 wins in the final 15 games.