BYU baseball was unable to hold off a late charge from rival Utah. The Cougars dropped their third game in a row, 12-10.
The BYU (18-28) bats started out strong, scoring two runs in each of the first four innings. The heart of the Cougars order did most of the damage, tallying 10 of the Cougars’ 17 hits, with Kelton Caldwell reaching base in each of his at-bats.
Early rain seemed to affect both sides early, as the teams combined for five errors, but only BYU was able to capitalize and score runs, jumping out to a 9-3 lead.
“When we were up 9-3 I was probably the only guy who didn’t think this game was over,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “They scored nine runs in the last three innings.”
Starting BYU pitcher Hayden Rogers pitched five innings before being pulled in the sixth inning. Utah put runners on base early in the fourth before Rogers settled in with a double play. Utah was only able to score two runs with Rogers on the mound.
The game changed in the top of the seventh inning, when Ute catcher Konnor Armijo sent a grand slam deep over the outfield wall. The grand slam capped a five-run inning and brought the Utes within one run. Cougar pitcher Kolton Mahoney loaded the bases in the eighth and walked in the leading run. Armijo brought in two runs on a single to extend the Ute lead to 12-10.
Brock Whitney’s solo home run in the eighth threatened to bring BYU back in the game, but the Ute pitchers stifled the rest of the Cougar hitters.
The Cougars still hold a 2-1 advantage over the Utes going in the final game of their season series on May 13. That game will be played at Utah and will be the deciding game for the baseball portion of the Deseret First Duel.
Santa Clara comes to Provo May 8–10 to close out the Cougars’ home stand. The games on May 8 and 9 start at 6 p.m.; the game on May 10 will start at 1 p.m.; and a ceremony will be held before the game to honor this year’s seniors.