Homers help Cougars sweep UNLV

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    By David Headrick

    Junior outfielder Cameron Coughlan nailed a third-inning, grand-slam en route to an 8-3 win over UNLV Tuesday.

    Pitching from both BYU and UNLV held their opponents to zero runs in the first two innings.

    But things changed in the third.

    Sophomore designated hitter Kevin Bills walked and sophomore shortstop Ranger Wiens hit a line drive single to left, advancing him to second.

    Junior center fielder Doug Jackson bunted down the third base line, loading the bases and putting pressure on the pitcher.

    Coughlan stepped to the plate with a .355 batting average going into the game.

    “I felt great out there,” Coughlan said. “I knew it was gonna get out when I hit it.”

    Later in the third, junior catcher Mike Weingarten, replacing senior catcher Lars Birkeland because of a wrist injury, had an RBI to extend the Cougar lead to 5-0.

    Coach Vance Law said although the Cougars are playing well as a team, it is a struggle as they lose players due to injury.

    Coughlan said the Cougars are finally combining their efforts, resulting in good hitting, pitching and defense.

    Sophomore pitcher Jeff Mousser helped carry the Cougars, giving up one hit and one run, and striking out five batters in five innings.

    In the second game of the double header, the Cougars displayed similar batting, scoring nine runs off seven hits in the fourth inning.

    After the Cougars quickly added four runs to extend their 5-1 lead, UNLV coach Jim Schlossnagle argued with an umpire about a fair ball judgment and was tossed from the game.

    Junior outfielder Matt Carson stepped to the plate in the fourth, batting 0-for-10 since the beginning of the series. He ended that streak as he nailed a three-run home run that bounced off the scoreboard.

    Bills added another Cougar home run in the fifth, extending the lead 11-1.

    Freshman centerfielder Ryan Chambers also nailed a two-run homer in the eighth, recording his first home run of the season.

    With the 13-7 win, the Cougars improved their record to 8-11 overall, and 3-0 in the MWC, while UNLV dropped to 10-13 overall, and 0-3 in the conference.

    The Cougars will travel to Washington as they play March 13-14 at 6:30 p.m. PST, and Saturday at 2 p.m. PST.

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