Cougars slip on Senior Day vs. Santa Clara

Hayden Nielsen singled in the third and ninth innings of a 5-1 loss to end the home season against Santa Clara. (Photo by BYU Photo/Meagan Larsen)

PROVO, Utah — BYU baseball couldn’t hold on against Santa Clara on Senior Day, falling 5-1 in Saturday’s home finale at Larry H. Miller Field.

"It just was one of those days," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "It was tough to score runs, but I liked the way we came out and competed. This was a pretty good baseball game today. We didn't see the great Kolton Mahoney, we saw the okay Kolton Mahoney. As I look back, we walked their eight and nine hitters probably five, six, seven times during this series, and we did the same thing today. Those little things just really, really hurt us."

BYU falls to 19-30 overall and 9-15 in West Coast Conference play. Santa Clara is 24-27 overall, 14-10 in conference.

Jarrett Jarvis was the only Cougar to record an RBI. BYU finished with seven hits to Santa Clara’s 10. Kolton Mahoney picked up the loss and is now 5-6 on the season. Santa Clara pitcher Jacob Steffens got the win.

Mahoney walked back-to-back Santa Clara batters in the top of the second, giving Bronco Kert Woods the chance at an RBI when he made it to third following his single and an outfield error. Bret Lopez picked up BYU’s first hit of the game in the bottom of the inning, but BYU couldn’t capitalize and ended the inning down 2-0.

Woods continued to cause problems for the Cougars in the fourth frame, sending a runner home on a base hit. The next Santa Clara batter homered over the right field fence to bring Woods in, pushing the Broncos ahead 5-0.

Brock Whitney quickly got on base after getting hit with a pitch in the bottom of the inning. Jarvis singled up the middle off the pitcher’s leg, creating enough confusion to get to first and send Whitney home for BYU’s first run of the game.

A deep Kolton Caldwell catch against the right field wall and two strikeouts kept the Broncos from scoring in the sixth. Jarvis doubled to left center when the Cougars got up to bat, but BYU left the inning without a run.

Neither the Cougars nor the Broncos could score after the fourth inning, despite leaving runners on base in the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth frames.

BYU heads north to Salt Lake City on Tuesday for the final game of the Deseret First Duel against Utah at 7 p.m. MDT. The Cougars then conclude their regular season with a three-game series at Portland starting Thursday.

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