BYU baseball kept up with its motto of finishing strong this weekend as it won its first West Coast Conference series, taking two of three games against the St. Mary’s Gaels.
Game 1 of the series proved to be difficult all around for the Cougars, going down 7-2 against the Gaels. BYU took the lead early after senior Alex Wolfe made it home on an RBI single by fellow senior Wes Guenther. His run would be the only one to score for the Cougars until senior Austin Hall got the first extra base hit of the game to knock in the other run in the ninth inning.
Gael pitcher Martin Agosta picked up his first win of the season, giving up only one run on seven hits. His team backed up his pitching with strong offense, converting its 10 hits into seven runs.
BYU impressed in the second game of the series with its tough defense and pitching. Junior pitcher Mark Anderson earned his second win of the season, posting six strikeouts and only allowing one run on seven hits. Senior Stephen Wells made a clutch play in the outfield on the defensive side of the board, stealing a potential two-out, two-run bomb from St. Mary’s Patrick Wisdom.
Freshman Mason Marshall finished off the game for Anderson earning his second save of the season with three strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings.
Marshall said he was pleased with his and his team’s performance against the Gaels.
“I just wanted to come in and throw some strikes,” Marshall said. “Every pitch is important and I know plays are always going to be made behind me.”
Sophomore Jaycob Brugman got things rolling in the sixth inning with a hit-and-run single to move Wells into scoring position. Sophomore Brock Whitney then broke the scoreboard, bringing in both Brugman and Wells on a smash to the warning track to put the Cougars up 2-1. That would be all the Cougars would need, though, ending the day with a 4-1 win.
BYU coach Vance Law said he was pleased with his teams’ performance on day two.
“I had no doubt that we would finally find a rhythm,” Law said. “I was really pleased with the way the guys executed. We are a work in progress and we are getting better.”
Saturday’s game decided the winner of the best-of-three series. The Cougars came out swinging, scoring one run in the first inning off back to back doubles by Hall and Brugman. Freshman Tanner Chauncey kept the run going in the second with a two-RBI single. Chauncey, Hall and Brugman led the lineup for the Cougars, batting 9-for-13 as a group while also bringing in five of the teams’ seven runs to win the game 7-3.
Sophomore Adam Miller earned his first win of the season, only giving up five hits in seven innings of work.
Law said he was more than pleased with Miller’s seven innings against the Gaels.
“When he [Miller] has two pitches working, that is all he needs as hard as he throws,” said Law in a BYU news release. “I’m pleased with way he has pitched last two games.”
The Cougars now travel to play No. 4 Arkansas for a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday.