Keaton Kringlen had three RBI, including the game-winner in an 11-6 victory Tuesday over Utah. (Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
SALT LAKE CITY (March 28, 2017)—Bats of Keaton Kringlen and Tanner Chauncey combined with relief pitching to give BYU baseball an 11-6 victory over rival Utah on Tuesday at Smith’s Ballpark.
The victory gives BYU,11-11, a leg up in the first of three games in the Deseret First Duel against the Utes who are now 10-12.
"We put four up in the first inning and I just knew that wasn't going to be enough to win and that we needed to keep going,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “They scored two to cut it in half and we came back. I think that second inning was important for us. We went to sleep a little bit in the middle innings, but I thought we did a good job.
"(Jacob) Rebar's a 6-foot-4 left-hander who throws 93 miles per hour. Fortunately, we've seen a couple of those, and the guys did a great job of laying off the slider and hitting fastballs they could just jump on. I think those first two innings were the most important of the game because it's just tough to play catch-up."
Kringlen drove in three runs, while Chauncey scored three times off his three hits, including a pair of doubles.
"I introduced Tanner Chauncey to the team as our new guy who showed up tonight,” Littlewood said after the game. “I think he is one of the best hitters on the West Coast."
Chauncey doubled to left field as the second batter in the first inning, advancing Brennon Anderson to third. Anderson scored BYU’s first run on a Daniel Scheemann ground out to first. Consecutive walks set up Bronson Larsen for a one-out double to right center to plate Brock Hale and Keaton Kringlen, forcing a Ute pitching change.
In the bottom of that frame, centerfielder Kyle Dean got his third assist of the season when he threw out the leadoff runner DaShawn Keirsey who tried to extend his hit into a double, but was tagged out by shortstop Schneemann.
The Cougars tacked on three more runs in the second inning after the Utes scored a pair of runs. Anderson’s sharp belt got past the first baseman, advancing him to second on the two-base error. Chauncey laced one to leftfield, this time with a single that pushed Anderson to third. Anderson scored on a passed ball, moving Chauncey to second. Brock Hale also singled to left field prior to he and Chauncey scoring on Kringlen’s two-out triple for a 7-2 advantage.
Prior to starter Jordan Wood being replaced in the fourth by Rhett Parkinson with two out and a runner on first, Kringlen snagged a foul fly over the Ute bull pen. Then Parkinson got out of the fourth inning when Schneemann made a great leaping catch on the run.
Chauncey led off with a double to left field, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Schneemann’s single careened over the pitcher’s mound for to start a four-run rally in the ninth. Kringlen singled past the Ute shortstop, giving enough time for Scheemann to score. Then Kringlen plated the final run when he scored off a wild pitch.
Reliever Mason Marshall was credited with the win, improving his record to 1-2, while Keaton Cenatiempo picked up his second save of the season.
The Cougars next host league-leading Saint Mary’s College in a three-game series starting Thursday in a return to West Coast Conference action. Game time for Thursday's contest has been changed from 6 p.m. to 2 p.m. MDT due to impending storm.