The Cougars defeated Santa Clara 8-6 Thursday night after a walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning by Jaycob Brugman.
With the win, BYU won two out of three games against Santa Clara this past weekend.
“It felt so good,” Brugman said, according to a press release. “I knew three teammates were on base, so a base hit up the middle was all we needed. I was just looking for a short, quick swing up the middle. It was a fast ball tailing away on a 2-2 count. I spread my stance and just wanted to play pepper so I could hit it up the middle.”
Brugman was not expecting a grand slam until he looked at BYU Coach Vance Law.
“I didn’t know where it was going, so I just started running,” Brugman said. “I thought the ball hit the wall, but at that point I was at second already. I saw Coach Law pointing up and when I came around third, I realized it was a walk-off.”
Law knew that Brugman was a strong hitter and hoped he would bring Wells home.
“I told him (Brugman), ‘Hey, just a nice, easy base hit,’” Law said. “When the ball flew up, my hope was that it would just get down somewhere so that we could get (Stephen) Wells in on a double. That’s a thrill for a young man to have a walk-off grand slam and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving young man.”
After losing the past six games, this win meant a lot to the Cougars and to Law.
“We’ll take the win any way we can,” Law said. “We’re trying to make our own breaks, go out and battle and let the chips fall as they may.”
BYU pitcher Marc Oslund helped lead the Cougars to a 7-3 victory over Santa Clara with nine strikeouts in five innings.
Santa Clara’s pitcher Powell Hansler hit four batters in the third inning, which is two short of the NCAA record of batters hit in one inning.
Kelton Caldwell had a solo home run over center field in the sixth inning, leading the Cougars to four home runs this series.
“I was just trying to get a good read off the bat,” Caldwell said. “The last couple of weeks have been pretty frustrating but you have to do what you can and hopefully come out with a win.”
Offensively, the Cougars have not been following through the past few games but this series they have turned it around.
“We’ve had a power outage,” Law said. “But we’ve had four home runs in the past two games. Caldwell, Wolfe, Whitney, and Brugman have some power.”
Unfortunately, the Cougars couldn’t pull through in the last few innings against Santa Clara on Saturday as they lost 14-1o.
BYU had the lead until the eighth inning where Santa Clara scored three runs, followed by four in the ninth. Law put Austin Hall into pitch in the inning, but the plan backfired.
“It didn’t work out the way we hoped, ” Law said. “Santa Clara didn’t give up and played a complete game.”
The Cougars gave up a total of seven base on balls, which helped Santa Clara gain the lead.
Right fielder Jaycob Brugman jammed his left big toe in the sixth inning and was removed from the game after thinking he dislocated it. The Cougars hope Brugman will be healed by the Gonzaga series.
“The guys are competing and playing with passion the whole game,” Law said. “We hope to continue to battle.”
The Cougars will have their last home series against Gonzaga May 24 – 26.