BYU Baseball misses opportunities, loses doubleheader to Kansas

Luke Anderson crouched into his batting stance with two outs at the bottom of the 9th. The Cougar faithful eagerly cheered him on, as Bryker Hurdsman had just scored a run to bring BYU to within one point of KU.

“Come on Luke!” pleas came from the stands. The Kansas pitcher Hunter Cranton prepped to throw, released it, and flew it right past Anderson’s bat. BYU lost 4-3 in this matinee game and later 8-5 in the evening.

All things considered, this was a much better showing from the Cougars than the game on Thursday where they lost 11-1. In fact, in that game Kansas took the lead so quickly that BYU SID Joseph Hovey, who turned on the radio just fifteen minutes after the first pitch, was faced with hearing that Kansas was already leading by four.

Why the slow start? May scheduling have played a role in BYU having some tired legs?

Kansas’s midweek game leading up to the series was canceled due to weather, giving them extra rest, and BYU just happened to play UVU in a game that proved to be the longest of the season at four hours and ten minutes on Monday. But we’ll never really know.

In the matinee on Friday BYU started off with some strong pitching by Bryce Robinson. He started by striking out John Nett and avoiding any walks for the first five innings of play. This defensive effort kept BYU tied with Kansas at 0-0.

There was a near break for the Cougars when Crew Robinson hit a fly ball up left field, and a Kansas outfielder ran into his Shortstop, as they both tried to make the catch. Though nearly dropping it, the shortstop, Collier Cranford, ended up making the catch anyway.

It wasn’t till later that scoring opened, when Jake English of Kansas hit a home run at the top of the fourth to take the lead 1-0.

Up to this point things just weren’t going the way of BYU on the hitting end. Not only did they not record a hit in the first three innings, but since the game the previous day they were on an unusual streak of twenty-four straight hits not resulting in a score when they had runners on base.

To make matters worse, along with BYU not striking at the opportune moments, Kansas had been doing just the opposite, scoring eight of their first twelve points in the series while having two outs on the count.

Things started to turn around though in the fifth inning, as BYU’s Kuhio Aloy doubled and then got sent home on a hit by Bryker Hurdsman to tie the game at one.

BYU had a few double plays to keep Kansas at bay, but it didn’t prove to be enough with Kansas putting up three points in the sixth and BYU only getting two more in the late stages of the game for a 4-3 defeat.

The evening game saw pitcher Hayden Coon step up to the mound for BYU and leadoff with three straight strikeouts.

But yet again Kansas struck first as they built up to a 7-0 lead at the top of the sixth. The Cougars looked out of it, and could have just accepted defeat, but like the previous match they wouldn’t stop putting up a fight.

In a shootout of an inning in the sixth that started with four runs from Kansas, all of Crew Robinson, Collin Reuter, Bryker Hurdsman, and Cooper Vest ran in for points off of hits from Kuhio Aloy, Chipper Beck, and Parker Goff. 

The energy ramped up, but again the comeback was too little too late, as both teams put one more run each.

BYU finished the series 0-3.

The standout player from the matinee game for BYU was Bryker Hurdsman who went three for four at bat, scored two runs, and had one run batted in, while Easton Jones led the way in the evening with an RBI and a home run.

BYU looks to get back on track in a three-game series at Texas, April 4-6. The game will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network with it airing live on the BYU Radio App.

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