Cougar baseball won one more for the Deseret First Duel on Tuesday after beating the Utes at Spring Mobile Ball Park in Salt Lake City, the first of three non-conference games against the Utes.
“It’s always nice to beat the Utes, it’s one of our goals every year,” said BYU coach Vance Law in a press release. “It helps in recruiting, it helps our fans and it’s a good friendly rivalry. Bill [Kinneberg] and I are committed to make it happen. We have four games scheduled for next year.”
This meeting culminated in the 344th meeting between both teams since its first game in 1895. The Cougars edged the Utes 9-8 Tuesday evening to boost the Cougars’ record to 10-9, while the Utes fell to 7-16.
The Cougars seemed to finally turn things around on offense with Jaycob Brugman, Tanner Chauncey and Kelton Caldwell all getting a pair of RBIs for the evening.
“We put together a complete game and it was nice to get some offense going,” said Caldwell, a sophomore left fielder from Draper.
Caldwell’s two-run triple in the fifth tied the game at 6-6 and was a huge help to the Cougars offensively.
“We were aggressive and ran the bases well,” Law said. “Hopefully this will be the start of a big streak. We have been underachieving offensively. We have too good of hitters to not be scoring more runs.”
Pitcher Mason Marshall seemed to leave a wake of devastation for the Utes as he came in to take on the final five Ute batters of the game. Marshall struck out Gavin Green, who fouled off six pitches on a full count to lead off the ninth inning.
Along with great pitching also came great plays on defense for the Cougars.
“Our defense really saved some runs,” Law said. “[Wes] Guenther blocked a couple of balls at the plate, Adam [Law] made a diving stop in the eighth inning and in the ninth Chauncey stayed right there and fielded a rocket.”
Coach Law said the team made some great plays when the Utes had runners in scoring position. The team also took advantage of Ute mistakes.
The Cougars now take to the road again to take on the University of Nevada in a three-game series starting Thursday at 2 p.m. PDT.
The Nevada Wolf Pack are coming off a win against UC Davis and have an impressive 13-10 record.
To catch all the action of this three-game series, tune-in to www.byucougars.com to get live audio or stats for the game.