Cougars beat Gaels, one win away from playoff berth

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BYU baseball used a seven-run third inning and eight solid innings from Desmond Poulson to beat Saint Mary’s 11-1 on Friday night.

“I was really happy with how we came out ready to play,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “I didn’t sense that we were flat, everybody was on point and ready to go. Desmond did a great job for us on the mound.”

The game was the first of a decisive three game weekend series, with the winner getting the final spot in the conference tournament. The Cougars poured in 18 hits on a night in which the offense gave Poulson plenty of early support.

BYU exploded to break a scoreless tie when they scored seven runs in the third inning highlighted by a two-run double by Bret Lopez and a two-run single by Dakota Hernandez. Kelton Caldwell, Hayden Nielsen, and Jacob Hannemann also had run-scoring hits in the inning.

Cole Norton’s home run to lead off the sixth inning was the Gaels’ only run.

BYU tacked on runs in the sixth and seventh on run-scoring singles by Nielsen and first baseman Brock Whitney to take a 9-1 lead. The Cougars put up two more in the eighth on a two-out, two-run triple by Brennon Anderson for the final margin.

The teams will play again Friday at 6 p.m. A win for the Cougars will clinch the final spot in the tournament as the fourth seed. With a series sweep, BYU would be tied with San Diego and San Francisco at 15-9 in the conference standing. BYU would take the third seed by virtue of a series victory over San Francisco.

Tomorrow’s game will be broadcast on KOVO Radio 940 AM.

BYU pitcher Desmond Poulson threw eight strong innings, earning a win over St. Mary's on Thursday at Miller Park,
BYU pitcher Desmond Poulson threw eight strong innings, earning a win over St. Mary’s on Thursday at Miller Park.
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