Freshman shortstop Tanner Chauncey started a critical double play to end the fifth inning of a 9-2 victory over Seattle University. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Southpaw Mark Anderson kept his record unspotted, but Seattle spoiled BYU’s home baseball opener Saturday at Larry H. Miller Field.
Anderson improved to 4-0 as BYU improved to 7-8 from his 9-2 victory in the nightcap. However, Seattle (10-8) defeated the Cougars in the opener of the twin bill, 2-1.
“In the second game we got a lot of base hits on ground balls and a lot of two-out RBI,” BYU head coach Vance Law said. “That can really deflate a team. Unfortunately, we didn’t score enough runs in the first game.”
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In the bottom of the third inning of game two, BYU picked up the pace of what had previously been a pitcher’s battle, scoring three consecutive runs to give Anderson a cushion. Brock Whitney hit an RBI single up the middle, scoring Tanner Chauncey. Chauncey’s run proved to be the game-winner as the Cougars built a 4-1 lead.
Whitney leads BYU with five RBI this season. Whitney also extended his hitting streak to eight-games with two hits on the day.
Marcelino Morales scored on a wild pitch to give the Redhawks their second run of the nightcap in the top of the fifth to bring them within two runs of BYU. But with two men on base, a double play, otherwise known as Anderson’s best friend, brought Seattle into the dugout. The Cougars went on to extend their lead as they batted around in the eighth, scoring five runs.
Alex Wolfe scored the Cougars’ lone run of the opener while Chris Capper tallied five strikeouts from the mound. However, Capper did not receive the support he needed offensively in a game that seemed at one time to be within reach for BYU.
“If there was a pitcher that deserved to win today it was Capper,” Anderson said. “I kept Capper’s pitching chart from game one so that I knew how to pitch to them.”
The Cougars get another shot at the Redhawks with a three-game series in Seattle beginning April 12th. First, league-leading BYU resumes West Coast Conference action after a four-week respite as it next travels to Portland to take on the Pilots in a three game series on Mar. 22-24.