Cougars edge out Portland in three game series


The BYU baseball team still leads the West Coast Conference after a 2-1 series win against the University of Portland over the weekend.

The Cougars took the first game in a 12-inning 3-2 victory over the Pilots. The game seemed to come down to a battle of the pitchers as both Capper and Marshall came to play.

“My breaking pitch was on today and it has been my bread and butter in past years,” said Chris Capper a right-handed pitcher from Glendale, Ariz. “My teammates played great defense behind me. Today was one of my most favorite games I’ve played at BYU.  I felt really confident. I wasn’t nervous.  I battled and just made some good pitches.”

A few double plays got the Cougars out of some hot water including a 5-4-3 double play in the fourth inning, which helped keep the score tied for the Cougars 2-2. Capper also started a 1-6-3 double play to help the team escape the sixth inning unscathed.

Mason Marshall, a right-handed pitcher from South Jordan, seemed confident in the way he and Capper played in the first game.

“I felt really good and was excited to come out and pitch today,” Marshall said. “Capper deserves that win more than anybody. He is our captain and leader, I look up to him a lot.”

BYU’s  third baseman, Dillon Robinson, scored the final run for the Cougars after Adam Law hit a sacrifice fly to center field. Outfielder Jaycob Brugman chased down a fly ball in the bottom of the 12th inning to get the first Pilot out, leading to the Cougars’ first win in the series.

The Cougars didn’t fare as well in the second game when Portland took a commanding 3-0 lead in the third inning. It was hard for the Cougars to come back after that. Stephen Wells was the only Cougar to get on the board in the second game after Tanner Chauncey hit a one out single.

Saturday’s game proved to be victorious for the Cougars as the team clinched the series with a 7-4 win. Desmond Poulson, a right-handed pitcher from Kearns, turned the tides for the Cougars as he came in as a relief pitcher in the third inning. Poulson took the mound and promptly retired the Pilots in order. Poulson also had key strikeouts in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings.

“Our pitchers kept us close and right in the ball game,” said coach Vance Law in a news release.  “Our team has ground it out and they never give up, they weren’t going to give in as long as our pitcher was keeping us in the game.”

BYU made some key defensive plays in both the seventh and ninth innings, stopping Portland rallies.

“[Stephen] Wells made an unbelievable play in center field,” Law said. “Then Tanner Chauncey made a heads-up play, knowing we couldn’t make the double play at first base.”

Chauncey tagged second base for the second out before faking to first, and then firing home to catch the Portland runner in a rundown ending the ninth inning and completing one of the three Cougar double plays.

The Cougars advance its conference record to 4-2 overall, leading the WCC at this point in the season.

BYU takes on the University of Utah on Tuesdayas the team plays one of three nonconference games against the Utes. The game begins at 6 p.m. at Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City.

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