Cougs squeak by Rebels in two baseball battles

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By Brianna Gardner

The BYU Cougars defeated the UNLV Rebels in two consecutive games in Mountain West Conference baseball action on Friday and Saturday at Larry H. Miller Park in Provo.

The wins came after the Rebels pounded the Cougars 19-6 on Thursday.

The Cougars” 7-5 victory on Friday night came as a result of an intense pitchers duel between Cougar sophomore relief pitcher Scott Koffman and Rebel senior relief pitcher Courtney Hall.

Hall entered the game for the Rebels in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hall allowed one hit before retiring the final 10 Cougars batters.

Koffman was credited with the save after entering the game for the Cougars in the top of the sixth inning. Koffman did not allow any hits for the Rebels and retired their final nine batters.

“We needed that win really bad,” Koffman said.” I felt really good out there and I had command of all my pitches. We”ll get them tomorrow.”

Koffman”s prediction came true on Saturday with an 8-6 victory over the Rebels. The Cougars improve to 19-25-1 on the season and 12-11 in conference play.

The victory, along with other baseball action throughout the Mountain West Conference, has moved the Cougars to the number two spot in the Conference. BYU trails San Diego State with a record.

Saturday”s game was characterized by pitching changes. The Cougars used four pitchers throughout the game and the Rebels used five pitchers.

Coach Vance Law said he was “really proud” of the way his team played. Three Cougars had big offensive plays that helped the team come away with the win.

Right fielder Matt Carson hit a two-run double in the fifth inning, scoring first baseman Dave Jensen and center fielder Doug Jackson.

Second baseman Doug Jackson hit a triple in the sixth inning, bringing Ryan Thurgood home to tie the game.

In the seventh inning, designated hitter Jake Stubblefield hit a two-run homerun, bringing in third baseman Rob Itri.

Despite being walked three times, first baseman Dave Jensen managed to get a double and a single in Saturday”s game. The hits improve Jensen”s record to a 16 game hitting streak.

“The team is looking to get some momentum going into the tournament,” sophomore pitcher Sam Fernley said.

The Mountain West Conference tournament will be played May 22-25 at Miller Park.

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