The No. 30 BYU baseball team took two of three games against the Gonzaga Bulldogs over the weekend.
Head coach Mike Littlewood said the games against the Cougars’ WCC foe were extremely important.
“For this year it’s huge,” Littlewood said. “This is a must win for the tie breaker, league lead. This is a big win, and a big game. It’s also big for the program, being able to compete all the time, it showed today that we’re not going to quit.”
BYU rode an offensive explosion to take game one of the series 11-2 on Thursday night. Junior pitcher Michael Rucker gave up just one earned run over seven innings pitched and struck out six batters. Freshman Keaton Kringlen went 3-for-4 with three RBI’s, and Juniors Tanner Chauncey and Bronson Anderson each hit home runs. Seniors Hayden Nielsen and Eric Urry, along with junior Brennon Lund collected two hits and two runs for the Cougars.
In game two the Bulldogs took an early 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning. BYU catcher Bronson Larsen connected on his sixth home run of the season and ripped a two-RBI double for the Cougars, but Gonzaga opened things up in the fifth, taking an 8-4 lead. They would add one more run, taking game two 9-4.
In game three, the Zags scored in the top of the first inning after several throwing errors by the Cougars. Both teams swapped scoreless innings until the top of the sixth when the Bulldogs hit several shallow line drives into the outfield to extend their lead to 3-0. Gonzaga scored again at the top of the ninth off of a Joey Harris RBI single.
The Cougars entered the home half of the ninth down 4-0, but tied the game up. With runners on the corners and one out in the inning, Larsen hit a sacrifice fly to plate Eric Urry for a walk-off victory.
BYU’s next game will be at Larry Miller Park on Tuesday May 3, at 6 p. m. MDT.