BYU baseball slugs by San Francisco

game again
Hayden Nielsen connects on a pitch from a San Diego pitcher earlier this season. Nielsen has driven in 38 runs this season. (Ari Davis)

The BYU baseball team scored 26 runs in three games against San Francisco and took the series from the Dons over the weekend.

BYU baseball is now 34-14 overall and 15-9 in the West Coast Conference. The Cougars won the series 2-1 and eliminated the Dons from qualifying for the conference tournament.

BYU fell to San Fancisco 6-5 Thursday afternoon during game one of the series after stranding numerous runners on base.

“We shot ourselves in the foot all game long,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We let scoring opportunities escape us early in the game and walked too many guys late.”

The Dons were comfortable in their home park, drilling a solo homer in the 3rd inning and a three-run shot in the 5th. The Cougars took a 5-4 lead in the 6th, but were unable to hold on and fell in the 9th to the Dons.

Starter Michael Rucker left the game after seven innings, throwing 128 pitches and striking out eight. He did not factor into the decision and remains undefeated at 10-0.

“We showed great resiliency today,” Littlewood said. “I was a little unsure of how we would respond, but the guys showed up and played their tails off. Riley, Easton and Mason pieced together the game on the mound for us and our hitters did a great job one through nine.”

Reliever Mason Marshall was crucial for the Cougars in game two of the series. After relieving Easton Walker in the 7th inning, Marshall picked off a runner and struck out two batters. He followed it up with three more strikeouts in the 8th and 9th innings.

Anderson hit his second home run in as many days and Eric Urry hit a moonshot that cleared an 80-foot-high net in right field. The Cougars finished with a 12-6 win.

“It was probably the farthest one I’ve ever hit,” Urry said of the homerun.

The third and final game the Cougars showed their determination by scoring six runs during the 8th inning to push them to a 9-3 lead, which eventually became the final score.

“Today our guys showed everyone what they’re made of,” Littlewood said. “Hayden Rodgers went down with an injury early and every guy picked him up.”

Rogers was relieved by Conner Williams in the 1st inning due to back spasms.

Williams put away his first two batters of the afternoon to keep the Dons scoreless.

“Conner’s ability to get us out of that first inning jam was huge and the team fed off that energy,” Littlewood said.

The Cougars took an early 3-0 lead in the second inning thanks to four walks, but the Dons tied it up in the 5th inning. Both teams failed to pull ahead until 8th frame where all BYU batters either scored or recorded a run.

“This was a total team win, and I couldn’t be more proud of out effort this weekend,” Littlewood said.

The Cougars return to Utah to play the Utes in Salt Lake on Tuesday, May 17. BYU now sits second in the WCC standings.




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