BYU baseball moves to 18-2

Ari Davis
Maverik Buffo delivers a pitch during the game against Pacific. (Ari Davis)

The BYU baseball team’s 12-game winning streak came to an end, but the Cougars still took two out of three games against the University of the Pacific.

The series started Thursday, March 17 with a 19-3 blowout win for the Cougars.

Right-handed pitcher Michael Rucker continued his dominance, striking out seven in six innings and moving to 4-0 on the year.

BYU scored in all but just two innings. They recorded 18 hits, seven of which were extra base hits. The team had 17 RBIs, four that came from second baseman Brennon Anderson who went 4-6 in the game.

“I love the mentality and athleticism of this team,” said head coach Mike Littlewood.

The series continued on Friday with an 11-4 Cougar victory. Right-handed pitcher Maverik Buffo recorded his fourth win of the season, pitching six innings and giving up only one run.

“Maverik had a great night,” Littlewood said. “I loved (his) stuff. Whenever he got into trouble, he just refocused and the inning was done.”

BYU’s offensive highlight came from senior shortstop Hayden Nielsen who hit a two-run home run in the second inning. The homer was the first of Nielsen’s career.

“Hayden is automatic,” Littlewood said. “I’ve had a lot of good shortstops over the years, but none as solid and as consistent as Hayden.”

The Cougars 11 runs came off of 13 hits and 10 RBIs.

The series concluded on Saturday as BYU’s winning streak ended at 12 games with a 10-8 loss.

A back-and-forth game had the teams tied at eight after eight innings but a two-run home run from the Tigers in the top of the ninth was enough for the win. The Cougars lost for just the second time this season.

“We wanted a sweep so we feel like we let the sweep slip away,” Littlewood said. “Really the goal is to win a series so we did that.”

BYU’s 18-2 record is still the best start in school history. The Cougars will continue their home stand with a three-game series against Loyola Marymount University starting on Thursday, March 24.




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