PROVO, Utah - Emotions ran high in the final Western Athletic Conference baseball game between BYU and Utah Saturday as the Cougars hung on to win, 16-13.
The Utes jumped out to leads of 3-0 in the first inning and 6-3 in the third before the Cougars batted around in the fourth inning. In that fourth inning the Cougars scored six runs off five consecutive hits, including a two-run single by Gary Johnson.
At the end of the fourth tempers flared when Ute hurler Lance Ericksen hit Isaac Iorg in the tailbone on the first pitch of Iorg's second at bat of the inning. When that inning ended one Utah player was ejected from the bench, and both benches received warnings from the umpire. Utah Coach Tim Esmay was tossed in the top of the seventh inning after one of his players was called out on strikes.
Johnson put BYU on the board in the first inning when he hit a solo homer, followed by a solo homer from Ryan Pond. It was Pond's 23rd homer of the season.
Utah's Jamie Hardy enjoyed a banner by hitting three home runs, two-run shots in the third and eighth innings and a three-run dinger in the ninth.
Utah ended the season at 22-30 and 8-20 in the WAC, while BYU improved to 26-31 and 12-17.
Utah 3 0 3 0 1 0 0 2 4 13 18 1
Brigham Young 2 1 0 6 0 4 1 2 x 16 17 1
Ericksen, Beckman (6), Cullen (7), Ballard (8) and Larsen.
Gray, Opdahl (3), Crump (5), Thomas (8).
WP-Opdahl, 3-8. LP-Ericksen, 4-5.
2B-Hilts (U), Hawes (U), Jensen (BYU), Goff (U), Howes (BYU).
HR-Johnson (BYU), Pond (BYU), Hardy 3 (U), Smith (BYU), Freeman (BYU), Castleton (U).