‘Brock of ages’ — homer from Watkins pushes BYU past Dixie State 3-2

A late three-run blast from Brock Watkins was all that BYU baseball needed Tuesday night, saving the day in a 3-2 win over Dixie State to notch a sixth consecutive victory for the Cougars.

BYU’s bats were silent for the majority of the contest, stranding seven baserunners on the evening despite drawing five walks against the Trailblazers. The Cougars managed just one hit in six tries with runners in scoring position and continually squandered rally opportunities by grounding into three double plays.

However, the lone hit with runners in scoring position would ultimately win the game for BYU, with Watkins serving as the hero to erase the frustrating previous six innings.

With two on base and one out in the seventh, Watkins launched a towering, slicing shot down the right field line, clearing the fence for a three-run blast that put BYU ahead for good and certainly would have made the late Earl Weaver smile.

Nate Dahle held the lead by working out of a jam in the eighth inning, with Reid McLaughlin earning his 10th save of the season with a perfect ninth inning. BYU paraded nine total pitchers to the mound in the contest, teaming up for a combined nine strikeouts and only surrendering two walks and one earned run.

“The in-state games are always hard fought and it was great to come out with a win tonight,” BYU interim head coach Trent Pratt said. “I’m really happy for Brock and his big hit. Our bullpen was outstanding again tonight. They came in and did what they always do, just shut things down.”

BYU moves to 28-18 following its sixth consecutive win, now welcoming Pacific to Provo for a weekend WCC series beginning Thursday.

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