Another Comeback Beats Utes

Ben Saylor scored the winning run off Dan Vargas' ninth-inning single. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

LAS -- A nail-biter Wednesday went BYU's way for a 9-8 come-from-behind victory over Utah in the championship bracket of the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

With the game tied, bases loaded, two outs, and full count to pinch-hitter Dan Vargas, the Cougar freshman hit a single between third and short to score Ben Saylor.

"It was sure nice for him to come through," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "We did what was necessary for us to be successful. We continue to play for 27 outs. This was a very sweet victory."

The victory gives BYU a 32-26 record and keeps it undefeated in the tourney to face TCU.

With the loss, the Utes are 28-27, playing on Thursday against New Mexico.

BYU's improbable ninth-inning heroics started with the Utes in command on an 8-4 lead. The first five of the needed Cougar runs came when Blake Crosby led off with a double to left field. Vargas replaced Crosby and narrowly made it to third on Casey Nelson's single. Stetson Banks then scored Vargas on a single through the right side.

With Austin Carter representing the tying run at bat, he hit a single to right center to score Nelson to make the score 8-6. Banks scored off a sac-fly by Marcos Villezcas. Saylor then singled in Carter with a single to right field.

Saylor then stole second on the first pitch by new reliever Brian Lane. That set up an consecutive intentional walks to Jeff Hiestand and Kent Walton. Between those walks, substitute Seth Johnson grounded out, moving Saylor to third and Hiestand to second.

"This doesn't happen very often to score five runs in the ninth, especially against our rivals," said Law. "Our guys deserve all the credit. We feel like they are never out of it, but it wasn't looking too good for us for seven innings."

For the first seven innings, Ute pitcher Lucas Trinnaman had BYU's number to the tune of five hits and a shutout through five innings. Trinnaman got healthy support from his teammates who built a 7-0 lead.

Jay Brossman hit his 10th home run of the season over the left-center fence, a three-run blast in the first inning.

After Cougar freshman Jordan Muir picked up his team-best eight strikeouts in the fourth, averaging two an inning to that point against the Utes, he gave up back-to-back doubles which brought in three runs. With the score, 6-0, Muir got his ninth strikeout, finally stopping Brossman who had homered and doubled in the first and third.

Muir was touched for a seventh run before being replaced in the fifth by lefty Jake Wortham.

Conversely, Trinnaman had thrown a one-hitter until the fifth when Kasey Ko hit a lead-off single. Ko was thrown out at second on a fielder's choice by Crosby, making Walton the only Cougar to reach second base, off his single in the second.

Villezcas broke the drought for BYU in the sixth when he stroked a home run, his second of the season, over the rightfield fence to escape a shutout, 7-1. It was only the third hit given up by Trinnaman.

When Hiestand got BYU's fourth hit to lead off the seventh, he was only the fifth Cougar to run the bases. Ko collected his second hit of the game, right behind Hiestand, prompting the first activity in the Ute bullpen. Hiestand made it to third on Walton's fielder's choice and scored on Crosby's sac-fly to reflect the score 7-2.

Utah escaped a blow in the seventh when Banks' poke to second was bobbled, but Walton was caught wide on the turn to third and got out in a rundown to end the seventh.

Hiestand hit a two-run single with one out in the eighth, closing the margin to 7-4 with Trinnaman off the mound. Hiestand's hit was the third hit surrendered by Brad Devore in the eighth and he advanced to second on Ko's follow-up single. Utah turned a fortuitous double play to close the eighth when Walton's attempt to advance the two men went for naught.

Ute caught another break when Cougar reliever Anthony Bingham's first toss on a called intentional walk to MWC Player of the Year Ryan Khoury was wild in the ninth, allowing an eighth run. With two out and men on the corners, reliever Josh Barrett picked off Khoury on first rather than finish off sub Tyler Kmetko.

Barrett, who had barely gotten in the game, picked up his fourth victory against no losses by cheering for his teammates' comeback from the dugout.

It was the fourth consecutive come-from-behind victory for BYU over Utah in less than a week.

Utah at BYU

May 24, 2006 at Las Vegas, Nev. (Earl E. Wilson Stadium)

Utah 8 (28-27)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

------------------------------------------------------

KHOURY, Ryan ss.......... 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 0

BALDWIN, Bret 2b......... 3 1 2 1 0 0 2 3 0

KMETKO, Tyler 2b........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0

BROSSMAN, Jay 1b......... 4 1 2 3 1 1 5 0 1

KING, Eric dh............ 4 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1

WELSH, John cf........... 5 0 1 0 0 3 2 0 4

KEMP, Erich 3b........... 5 1 3 0 0 2 1 2 0

MOZELESKI, Joe rf........ 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0

FRANK, Adam c............ 5 1 3 1 0 2 8 0 0

SHIMADA, Corey lf........ 3 0 0 0 0 3 3 0 2

TUMMOLO, Mike ph/lf..... 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2

TRINNAMAN, Lucas p....... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

DEVORE, Brad p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

LANE, Brian p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 38 8 14 7 3 12 26 8 11

BYU 9 (32-26)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

------------------------------------------------------

CARTER, Austin lf........ 4 2 2 1 1 1 2 0 0

VILLEZCAS, Marcos ss..... 4 1 1 2 0 1 1 0 0

SAYLOR, Ben rf........... 5 2 2 1 0 3 1 0 0

HIESTAND, Jeff 1b........ 4 1 2 2 1 1 7 0 0

KO, Kasey dh............. 4 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0

JOHNSON, Seth pr/dh..... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

WALTON, Kent cf.......... 4 0 1 0 1 0 4 0 1

CROSBY, Blake 3b......... 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1

VARGAS, Daniel pr....... 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

NELSON, Casey c.......... 3 0 1 0 0 0 10 2 1

MUSSO, J.T. pr.......... 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

BANKS, Stetson 2b........ 4 1 1 1 0 2 2 1 2

MUIR, Jordan p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

WORTHAM, Jake p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0

BINGHAM, Anthony p...... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

BARRETT, Josh p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

Totals................... 37 9 15 9 3 8 27 9 8

Score by Innings R H E

-------------------------------------------

Utah................ 300 310 001 - 8 14 0

BYU................. 000 001 125 - 9 15 1

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Note: 2 outs, 3 runners LOB when the game ended.

E - MUIR(2). DP - UTAH 2. LOB - UTAH 11; BYU 8. 2B - BALDWIN 2(15);

BROSSMAN(18); FRANK(4); SAYLOR(15); CROSBY(9). 3B - KHOURY(3). HR -

BROSSMAN(10); VILLEZCAS(2). HBP - KHOURY 2; NELSON. SH - BALDWIN 2(5);

MOZELESKI(4). SF - VILLEZCAS(5); CROSBY(4). SB - SAYLOR(8); WALTON(10).

Utah IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

-----------------------------------------------

TRINNAMAN, Lucas.... 7.0 5 2 2 1 7 24 27

DEVORE, Brad........ 1.1 9 7 7 0 1 11 12

LANE, Brian......... 0.1 1 0 0 2 0 2 4

BYU IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

-----------------------------------------------

MUIR, Jordan........ 4.2 9 7 6 1 9 24 26

WORTHAM, Jake....... 3.0 3 0 0 1 2 9 14

BINGHAM, Anthony.... 1.0 2 1 1 1 1 5 6

BARRETT, Josh....... 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Win - BARRETT (4-0). Loss - DEVORE (3-5). Save - None.

WP - BINGHAM(3). HBP - by MUIR (KHOURY); by WORTHAM (KHOURY); by TRINNAMAN

(NELSON). PB - FRANK(11).

Umpires - HP: Tom Chandler 1B: Ray Belfiore 2B: John Cortez 3B: Marc Lewis

Start: 12:30 pm Time: 3:27 Attendance: 257

Utah at BYU - Play-by-Play

May 24, 2006 at Las Vegas, Nev. (Earl E. Wilson)

Score by Innings R H E

-------------------------------------------

Utah................ 300 310 001 - 8 14 0

BYU................. 000 001 125 - 9 15 1

-------------------------------------------

Utah starters: 2/ss KHOURY; 8/2b BALDWIN; 18/1b BROSSMAN; 34/dh KING; 1/cf

WELSH; 16/3b KEMP; 22/rf MOZELESKI; 10/c FRANK; 3/lf SHIMADA; 20/p TRINNAMAN;

BYU starters: 6/lf CARTER; 10/ss VILLEZCAS; 25/rf SAYLOR; 32/1b HIESTAND; 33/dh

KO; 9/cf WALTON; 30/3b CROSBY; 8/c NELSON; 3/2b BANKS; 12/p MUIR;

Utah 1st - KHOURY hit by pitch. BALDWIN doubled to right field; KHOURY

advanced to third. BROSSMAN homered to left field, 3 RBI; BALDWIN scored;

KHOURY scored. KING flied out to cf. WELSH struck out looking. KEMP struck out.

3 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

BYU 1st - CARTER walked. VILLEZCAS grounded into double play ss to 2b to

1b; CARTER out on the play. SAYLOR struck out. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0

LOB.

Utah 2nd - MOZELESKI flied out to cf. FRANK struck out. SHIMADA struck

out. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

BYU 2nd - HIESTAND struck out looking. KO flied out to lf. WALTON

singled to center field. WALTON stole second. CROSBY flied out to lf. 0

runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Utah 3rd - KHOURY struck out, out at first c to 1b. BALDWIN grounded out

to 2b. BROSSMAN doubled to center field. KING walked. WELSH struck out looking.

0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

BYU 3rd - NELSON flied out to cf. BANKS struck out. CARTER lined out to

1b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Utah 4th - KEMP struck out looking. MOZELESKI singled to shortstop.

FRANK singled to left field; MOZELESKI advanced to second. SHIMADA struck out.

KHOURY tripled to left field, 2 RBI; FRANK scored; MOZELESKI scored. BALDWIN

doubled to left field, RBI; KHOURY scored. BROSSMAN struck out, out at first c

to 1b. 3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

BYU 4th - VILLEZCAS grounded out to 1b unassisted. SAYLOR struck out.

HIESTAND flied out to lf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Utah 5th - KING reached on an error by p. WELSH lined out to lf. KEMP

singled to center field; KING advanced to second. MOZELESKI flied out to rf.

FRANK singled to center field, RBI; KEMP advanced to second; KING scored,

unearned. WORTHAM to p for MUIR. SHIMADA struck out looking. 1 run, 2 hits,

1 error, 2 LOB.

BYU 5th - KO singled to center field. WALTON flied out to rf. CROSBY

reached on a fielder's choice; KO out at second 2b to ss. NELSON flied out to

cf. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Utah 6th - KHOURY hit by pitch. BALDWIN grounded out to p, SAC, bunt;

KHOURY advanced to second. BROSSMAN flied out to cf. KING flied out to lf. 0

runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

BYU 6th - BANKS struck out. CARTER struck out. VILLEZCAS homered to

right field, RBI. SAYLOR struck out. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Utah 7th - WELSH singled to third base. KEMP singled to right field;

WELSH advanced to second. MOZELESKI out at first p to 2b, SAC, bunt; KEMP

advanced to second; WELSH advanced to third. FRANK struck out looking. TUMMOLO

pinch hit for SHIMADA. TUMMOLO grounded out to 3b. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors,

2 LOB.

BYU 7th - TUMMOLO to lf. HIESTAND singled to center field. KO singled

through the left side; HIESTAND advanced to second. WALTON reached on a

fielder's choice; KO out at second ss to 2b; HIESTAND advanced to third. CROSBY

flied out to lf, SAC, RBI; HIESTAND scored. NELSON hit by pitch; WALTON

advanced to second. BANKS reached on a fielder's choice; NELSON advanced to

second; WALTON advanced to third, out at third 2b to 3b. 1 run, 2 hits, 0

errors, 2 LOB.

Utah 8th - KHOURY singled through the right side. BALDWIN out at first p

to 2b, SAC, bunt; KHOURY advanced to second. BROSSMAN intentionally walked.

KING popped up to ss. BINGHAM to p for WORTHAM. WELSH struck out looking. 0

runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

BYU 8th - DEVORE to p for TRINNAMAN. KMETKO to 2b for BALDWIN. CARTER

singled to center field. VILLEZCAS struck out looking. SAYLOR doubled to right

field; CARTER advanced to third. HIESTAND singled to center field, 2 RBI;

SAYLOR scored; CARTER scored. KO singled through the left side; HIESTAND

advanced to second. JOHNSON, S. pinch ran for KO. WALTON grounded into double

play 3b to 2b to 1b; JOHNSON, S. out on the play. 2 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors,

1 LOB.

Utah 9th - JOHNSON, S. to dh. KEMP singled through the left side.

MOZELESKI flied out to cf. FRANK doubled to left field; KEMP advanced to third.

TUMMOLO grounded out to p. FRANK advanced to third on a wild pitch; KEMP scored

on a wild pitch. KHOURY intentionally walked. BARRETT to p for BINGHAM. KHOURY

out at first p to 1b, picked off. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

BYU 9th - CROSBY doubled to left field. VARGAS pinch ran for CROSBY.

NELSON singled to shortstop; VARGAS advanced to third. MUSSO pinch ran for

NELSON. BANKS singled through the right side, RBI; MUSSO advanced to second;

VARGAS scored. CARTER singled to center field, RBI; BANKS advanced to third;

MUSSO scored. VILLEZCAS flied out to lf, SAC, RBI; BANKS scored. CARTER

advanced to second on a passed ball. SAYLOR singled through the right side,

RBI; CARTER scored. LANE to p for DEVORE. SAYLOR stole second. HIESTAND

intentionally walked. JOHNSON, S. grounded out to 3b; HIESTAND advanced to

second; SAYLOR advanced to third. WALTON intentionally walked. VARGAS singled

through the left side, RBI; WALTON advanced to second; HIESTAND advanced to

third; SAYLOR scored. 5 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB.

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