FORT WORTH, Texas – Pepperdine junior Aaron Brown pitched seven scoreless innings on Sunday as the Waves pulled out a 3-2 win over TCU to force a deciding game three on Monday. The southpaw allowed five hits and two walks with four strikeouts in a gutsy 119 pitch effort to keep the Horned Frogs away from the plate. However, Brown’s struggles at the plate continued with a 1-for-3 effort as he is now 3-for-19 for the tournament.
Fans showed up at Lupton Stadium expecting a pitching showdown and they would not be disappointed with the mound performances in game two. Brown faced TCU’s junior righty Preston Morrison and the two pitchers were scoreless through four innings. Pepperdine would get the first runner into scoring position as Brown hit a double to lead off the second inning but Morrison would keep him from scoring.
Senior Dylan Fitzgerald led off the third with a double of his own for the Horned Frogs as TCU loaded the bases with one out only to have Derek Odell and Boomer White strike out back-to-back to end the scoring threat.
The Waves would score first as freshman Brandon Caruso singled to left field to score Hutton Moyer and take the 1-0 lead after five.
Pepperdine would strike against Morrison in the seventh getting two runners into scoring position with the help of a fielding error by White on Jack Ross’ single. Freshman Manny Jefferson lifted a sac fly that scored Moyer who was hit by a pitch to start the rally. Caruso continued his hot bat with runners on base with a double to left that scored Ross to extend the Waves’ lead to 3-0.
The Horned Frogs were quick to respond as freshman righty Chandler Blanchard came on in relief of Brown as White drew a walk and then scored on an error to pull within two. With one out and a runner on third junior Jerrick Suiter slapped a single into left field that scored junior Garrett Crain to cut the Waves’ lead to one.
With Suiter at second after a two-out steal, junior Keaton Jones drove a single to center field that was scooped up by Aaron Brown, who shifted to center field after pitching, and he threw a strike home that catcher Aaron Barnett managed to apply the tag to a cartwheeling Suiter at home to end the scoring threat and hold the one run lead at 3-2.
Senior Eric Karch came on to hurl a perfect ninth to get the save and force a game three on Monday.