Cougars beat Southern Colorado with stick

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    By CLAIRISSA PETT

    Wooden bats had little affect on BYU’s potent offense, as the Cougars smothered Southern Colorado 6-2 and 14-8 in a doubleheader Wednesday at Cougar Field.

    The Cougars agreed to put their aluminum bats aside for the series to comply with the Thunderwolves’ policy of using only wooden bats. But even though the run totals were high — a normalcy for BYU — coach Gary Pullins said the bats changed the teams’ offensive strategy.

    “The wood bats put strategy back in our game,” Pullins said. “You have to create innings and move people up with squeeze plays.”

    In the first game, Southern Colorado jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first. But BYU answered back with a solo home run from senior Ryan Pond and a two-run double by junior Gary Johnson that put the Cougars up 3-2.

    The Cougars added three more runs in the sixth off a bunt from Mark Smith, an RBI-single from Chris Circuit and a Southern Colorado error that scored Michael Wirrick.

    Southpaw Matt Rex pitched his second victory of the year to keep his record perfect at 2-0.

    Although the Cougars continued using mostly reserve players in their second game, there was no sign of a tapering offense. Junior Kyle West, who was hitting .136 going into the series, finished 3-for-5, including two singles and a double. Shortstop Brent Howes went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a triple and Adam Wilkes added a triple and two singles.

    BYU used six pitchers in the nightcap, including junior Todd Crump, who collected his first win of the season.

    “Today was just how we wanted it … to build bench strength and let our pitchers work,” Pullins said. “If we had to use them in a WAC game, I know they would produce.”

    In the first four innings of game two, BYU pounded 14 hits and collected 12 runs in the offensive attack. Freshman Kevin Bills, who has appeared in only nine games this season, belted a two-run home run in the fourth. The Cougars finished the day with 17 hits.

    With two victories over the Division II school, BYU evened its overall record to 14-14. Southern Colorado fell to 12-17.

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