BYU baseball’s comeback bid falls short as Cougars lose to New Mexico State

Keaton Cenatiempo delivers a pitch last season. Cenatiempo pitched four scoreless innings against New Mexico State. (BYU Photo)

The BYU baseball team lost to the New Mexico State Aggies 8-6 on 1990’s night Tuesday evening at Miller Park.

Brittany Spears and Tupac could be heard throughout the night as the walk-up songs and hype music were selected from 1990’s stars which made for a fun throwback environment.

Pitcher Keaton Cenatiempo started for the Cougars for the first time this year and had a productive outing. The senior pitched four scoreless innings, but the Cougars were done in by their bullpen, which gave up eight runs in the fifth and sixth innings..

“I feel like we were on our heels and came out a little complacent,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “The feel in the dugout was that we could just show up and win the game, and New Mexico State is too good of a team to do that against.”

The BYU bats were rusty, coming off an explosive home stand against UCSB and only had five hits through six innings leaving themselves in a 8-2 hole.

In the bottom of the seventh the Cougars made their comeback bid with five hits and four runs, highlighted by a two-out double by freshman designated hitter David Clawson to drive in two runs.

Lefty reliever Riley Gates had a clutch performance in the top of the eighth when he found himself with the bases loaded and only one out. Gates promptly struck out two in a row to keep the Aggies off the board.

In the bottom of the eighth the bats stalled and Daniel Schneemann and Brock Hale both struck out swinging.

After another clutch inning from Gates kept New Mexico scoreless in the ninth, giving the Cougars one chance in the bottom of the ninth to make up the two run difference.

After Keaton Kringlen grounded out, Bronson Larsen struck out and Kyle Dean popped up it what was a three-and-out for the Cougars. The game ended with a final score of 8-6.

Overall the Cougars missed several opportunities and left 10 runners on base throughout the game.

“I feel like it was one step forward last weekend and two steps back tonight,” Littlewood said. “But the team understands what we need to do to clean things up so we will look to have a good week of practice.”

BYU will resume play on Thursday against University of Connecticut at 6:00 p.m. at Miller Park.

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