MALIBU, Calif. — A deadlocked matchup finally ended in 14 innings Saturday as host Pepperdine put together three straight one-out singles in the bottom of the 14th to earn a walk-off 2-1 victory and even the West Coast Conference series versus the Saint Mary's baseball team at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
Pepperdine (20-28, 8-15 WCC) had its leadoff runner on base in the bottom of the ninth, 10th, 12th and 13th, but finally broke through with one out in the 14th. Saul Sandoval-Estrada, the replacement seventh hitter in the order, started the rally with a single. Aharon Modlin moved him to second with another single, and Joe Caparis ended it with a walk-off single down the left-field line for the victory.
Conner Loeprich (6-2) took the loss for Saint Mary's (32-18, 14-9 WCC), but in a valiant relief effort. He threw 5 2/3 of scoreless relief before allowing the game-winning run. He struck out four and had only allowed two hits in 5 1/3 innings before Pepperdine's 14th-inning rally. Jake Valdez also pitched well in a no-decision. His 7 2/3 of one-run ball with five strikeouts and no walks helped carry the Gaels into extras.
Joey Fiske extended his hit streak to eight games with a 3 for 4 performance, setting the table for the Gaels all day. But SMC only hit .118 (2 for 17) with runners on base, including 1 for 9 (.111) with runners in scoring position. Brett Rasso, Zach Kirtley, Kevin Milam and Austin Chauvin also had hits.
The series concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday with Saint Mary's righty Drew Strotman (5-1, 4.58 ERA) scheduled to face Jonathan Pendergast (4-4, 4.57 ERA). The game will be live streamed on SMCGaels.com.
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