BYU baseball won its first game of the season in a losing series against Nebraska in Arizona.
The series started out with a 6-3 loss on Feb. 19. The Cougars took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning when Dillon Robinson hit a two-run triple to right-center field and was then brought home on a single from Dallen Reber.
Cougar pitcher Kolton Mahoney was able to hold the Cornhuskers off with six strikeouts until they managed to tie the game 3-3 in the sixth inning. Nebraska loaded the bases in the top of the ninth inning when a double from Nebraska’s Blake Headley gave them the game 6-3.
“It was nice to see Kolton come out strong and set the tone for us,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “Our hitters did a great job today, but we need to get hits when they count.”
The Cougars were able to take their first victory on Feb. 20 in a 8-3 win over the Cornhuskers. BYU fell behind 3-0 until five runs on five hits in the fourth inning gave them a 5-3 lead. Cole Wilstead, son of former BYU All-American Randy Wilstead, got his first hit as a Cougar when he singled up the middle to bring two teammates home.
“I see more confidence and improvement in our team every time we take the field, which is very encouraging,” Littlewood said.
BYU then suffered a heartbreaking 3-1 loss in 11 innings later that evening. After a scoreless five innings, the Cougars were able to take a 1-0 lead in the sixth after Robinson doubled down the right field line, advanced to third and scored off a hit from Reber.
Nebraska tied the game 1-1 in the next inning when a two-out single brought in the Cougars’ relief pitcher Michael Rucker. Rucker shut down the Cornhuskers, recording back-to-back strikeouts later in the ninth. BYU threatened to take the lead in the tenth, but a Robinson strikeout ended the scoring chance. Nebraska went on to score two runs in the eleventh inning to win the game.
The Cornhuskers finished off the four-game series Saturday with a 9-1 drubbing of the Cougars, dropping BYU’s record to 1-7 on the season.