Cougar baseball drops season opener to Kansas

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BYU lost its first game of the season to the Kansas Jayhawks Friday, 10-4. The game remained close until the 7th inning, when a 6 run inning for the Jayhawks secured their victory.

BYU and Kansas, playing in Peoria, Ariz., were tied going into the 7th inning. Kansas batted around the order, cycling through three Cougar pitchers.

Kelton Caldwell puts the ball in play during a game against UVU at Miller Field. Photo by Chris Bunker.
Kelton Caldwell puts the ball in play during a game against UVU at Miller Field. Photo by Chris Bunker.

Jayhawk right fielder Connor Mckay proved to be the difference in the game, going 2-4 with four RBI’s. He tied the game up for Kansas in the fifth, with a two-run home run over the left field fence. McKay struck again in the seventh, when he knocked a two run double into left to start off the Jayhawks’ big inning.

BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said his teams’ defense was disappointing and well below the BYU standard.

“We gave up six outs in the fifth inning,” Littlewood said. “You can’t do that against a good team of mature hitters, they are going to make you pay. We didn’t get the job done. We had a couple of bad plays on defense and it got away from us, but those are the plays you need to make. It was a couple frustrating innings for us. We lost our mental edge in the fifth and seventh innings.”

BYU led twice in the ball game; a 1-0 lead in the first and a 3-2 lead in the fourth, but could not make the plays to hold the Kansas offense. The first inning lead came after Kelton Caldwell grounded out up the middle, scoring Brennon Lund who had singled to start the game.

After Kansas took the lead in the second, BYU retaliated in the fourth behind a two-run double from Bret Lopez that scored Dallen Reber and Jarrett Jarvis. Reber also had two hits in the game.

The ace of BYU’s staff had a strong outing, allowing two earned runs on five hits, through five innings, striking out two. He left the game with a no-decision, with the game tied at 4. Chris Howard took the loss for the Cougars.

The Cougars and Jayhawks will meet again on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. MDT, for a doubleheader at Mariner-Padre stadium.

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