The BYU baseball team upset UC Irvine during the Cougars’ home-opener series on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, winning two of the three games.
The Cougars won Thursday’s game 6-3 and Saturday’s game 3-1 against the nationally ranked Anteaters, but missed the opportunity for a three-game sweep, losing Saturday’s game 8-3.
“We were picky,” coach Mike Littlewood said. “We weren’t just swinging at pitches we didn’t want to hit just simply because they were strikes.”
Thursday’s game was neck-and-neck until the seventh inning when outfielders Jacob Hannemann and Jaycob Brugman helped score four runs for the Cougars, pushing the score to 6-2. Hannemann tied the school record on Thursday hitting two triples during the game.
“Our whole approach is we want to try to control the things we can control,” Littlewood said. “Our hitters made some good adjustments and solved a pretty good pitching staff over there.”
BYU dominated UCI on Friday, winning 3-1 and ending the game in just one hour and 55 minutes, the shortest game that BYU has played this season.
“We talked about adjustments that we would need to make (Friday) to win the game and we really didn’t make any,” Littlewood said. “We want to play our style of game and I think we did that (on Friday).”
BYU pitcher, Adam Miller, also recorded his first win on Friday, pitching five scoreless innings.
“It was nice to get some run support by the offense today,” Miller said. “The past few games I had pitched, they had struggled to get some runs so it was nice they scored some today.”
The Anteaters capitalized off the Cougars’ relaxed attitude and key several errors on Saturday, defeating BYU 8-3.
“I felt like we were playing catch up the whole game,” Littlewood said. “We came out a bit complacent, I didn’t like that. Really good teams don’t come out with that mentality.”
The Cougars fell far behind the Anteaters early in the game, but managed to lessen the gap in the score during the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
The Cougars will play against San Diego State University next week in California on Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT.