Craig Amazes Aztecs

Groom-To-Be Jesse Craig dominated the Aztecs Friday in BYU's 12-3 win. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- As Jesse Craig outsmarted San Diego State's hitters, Marcos Villezcas continued his hot hitting for BYU against the Aztecs Friday in the Cougars' 12-3 victory.

"Basically I wasn't going to fool around," said Craig while commenting on his outing. "I know when I go out there and know my defense is making plays...I don't have to strike everyone out."

Craig, who found himself on the mound for BYU the night before his wedding, pitched eight complete 10-hit innings while allowing just three runs and walking none. He stuck out six hitters as well. With the win Craig evens his misleading record to 6-6. The Cougars improved to 26-25 and 11-7 in the Mountain West Conference with the win, their second in a row against MWC second-place San Diego, who fell to 20-34, 13-8 in MWC.

"We're trying as much as we can to move up in the standings and build some momentum before the tournament," said BYU Coach Vance Law.

The Aztecs strung together three singles to lead off the sixth, loading the bases up against Craig with no outs. Down in a tough spot, Craig buckled down and showed some defensive prowess. He struck out Tim O'Brien, threw out Brock Ungricht at home on an acrobatic play and then outran Jordan Swayden to first base on a ball hit back to the mound.

"I was a little aggravated when I went down 2-0 to some of those batters," said Craig. "I made some good pitches, but not great pitches." Speaking on his defense he said, "I've always tried to work on it and try to be the fifth infielder. It relaxes them [the infield] and they don't have to stress it so much."

Villezcas gave the Cougars a hefty lead in the bottom of the sixth frame when he swung deep on a 2-2 pitch from Aztec reliever Mike Koons. The three-run long ball was Villezcas' first home run of the season and, with two runners on base, gave BYU its commanding 9-2 lead. The BYU shortstop hit 2-for-4 with four RBI while picking up a walk and scoring two runs to go with his home run.

With runners moving in the fifth inning, Villezcas showed a good piece of hitting when he drove a single down the right field line. Stetson Banks scored from second easily with Seth Johnson rounding third on the play. The Aztecs got Villezcas trapped in a run-down while Seth Johnson raced home. A throw from first wasn't close as Johnson scored and Villezcas was safe at second. Jeff Hiestand later scored from second on a two-out RBI single to left by Walton. The runs put BYU up 6-2.

Curt Mendoza hit a solo home run to start the scoring in the top of the second inning. Quintin Berry laid down a safety squeeze to put the Aztecs up 2-0.

BYU came back with two runs of its own when Kasey Ko and Kent Walton picked up back-to-back singles with one out in the inning. Ko scored and Walton advanced to third base when Blake Crosby reached on a throwing error by SDSU shortstop. A batter later, the Cougars' Casey Nelson plated Walton from third on a sacrifice fly.

Crosby gave the Cougars the lead in the bottom of the fourth when he poked a single through the right side of the infield. The hit scored Ko, who had doubled with one out and moved to third on a grounder by Walton.

Quintin Berry gave the Aztecs some hope in the top of the seventh when he scored on a passed ball. The San Diego speedster had led off the frame with a screaming triple that went by Banks at second all the way to the wall in right center.

Ben Saylor gave the Cougars another boost in the bottom of the eighth when he drove a single to the gap in right center with the bases loaded. Both Banks and Johnson scored on the play. BYU got another run when Hiestand grounded into a double play with no outs that scored Villezcas from third to go up 12-3. Cortland Andrews came in to pitch for the Cougars in the top of the ninth and retired two of three on strikeouts, including a strikeout looking to finish off the game.

Speaking on consenting to Craig's choice to get married during a pivotal series Coach Law said, "He's probably the only player on the team I'd do it for because he's mature. I might have been upset if he only gave us two innings and given up seven runs."

Craig said that the he and his fiancee had chosen the mid-season date because of the upcoming draft this summer. He said that you never know what is going to happen and the two of them wanted to have the most time together before the draft.

Speaking of playing against Major League great Tony Gwynn's Aztecs, Craig said, "It's fun to play against the name. We're not playing against Tony Gwynn though, we're playing against their hitters and every hitter has weaknesses."

BYU will try to win its third straight game on Saturday when it faces San Diego in the final game of the series at 1 p.m. at Miller Park.

San Diego State at Brigham Young Univ.

May 12, 2006 at Provo, Utah (Larry H.Miller Field)

San Diego State 3 (20-34,13-8 MWC)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

BERRY, Quintin cf........ 4 1 2 1 0 1 0 0 0

ANDERSON, Chris ph...... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

ZAWADZKI, Lance ss....... 4 0 1 0 0 0 3 4 1

WILLEFORD, Mike ph...... 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

SMYTH, Paul lf........... 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0

SPIRNAK, Brent ph....... 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

UNGRICHT, Brock 1b....... 4 0 1 0 0 0 10 1 0

PEPPER, Sam ph.......... 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2

ROMERO, Nick 2b.......... 4 0 2 0 0 0 1 5 2

MENDOZA, Curt rf......... 4 1 3 1 0 1 2 0 1

O'BRIEN, Tim 3b.......... 4 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0

HUSKINS, Joey dh......... 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

SWAYDAN, Jordan c........ 4 0 1 0 0 2 2 2 3

SEWELL, Lance p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

KOONS, Mike p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

NOLTE, Charles p........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

SUWYN, Jared p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

Totals................... 38 3 11 2 1 8 24 13 10

Brigham Young Univ. 12 (26-25,11-7 MWC)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

JOHNSON, Seth lf......... 2 3 1 0 3 1 3 0 0

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

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

HIESTAND, Jeff 1b........ 5 1 0 0 0 2 6 2 0

KO, Kasey dh............. 4 2 3 0 1 0 0 0 0

WALTON, Kent cf.......... 4 1 2 1 0 0 3 0 0

CROSBY, Blake 3b......... 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 2

VARGAS, Daniel 3b....... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

NELSON, Casey c.......... 3 0 0 1 0 0 9 0 2

BANKS, Stetson 2b........ 3 3 2 0 1 0 0 2 1

CRAIG, Jesse p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1 0

ANDREWS, Cortland p..... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

Totals................... 34 12 12 9 6 4 27 9 5

Score by Innings R H E

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

San Diego State..... 020 000 100 - 3 11 2

Brigham Young Univ.. 020 133 03X - 12 12 0

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

E - ZAWADZKI(15); UNGRICHT(5). DP - SDS Aztecs 2. LOB - SDS Aztecs 10; BYU

Cougars 5. 2B - SPIRNAK(2); ROMERO(10); KO 2(8). 3B - BERRY(4). HR -

MENDOZA(7); VILLEZCAS(1). HBP - HUSKINS. SF - NELSON(4). SB - BANKS(17).

San Diego State IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

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

SEWELL, Lance....... 4.2 7 6 3 3 4 20 24

KOONS, Mike......... 1.1 2 3 3 1 0 6 7

NOLTE, Charles...... 1.0 3 3 3 2 0 6 8

SUWYN, Jared........ 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2

Brigham Young Univ. IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

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

CRAIG, Jesse........ 8.0 10 3 3 0 6 34 35

ANDREWS, Cortland... 1.0 1 0 0 1 2 4 5

Win - CRAIG (6-6). Loss - SEWELL (1-2). Save - None.

WP - NOLTE(3); CRAIG(3). HBP - by CRAIG (HUSKINS). PB - SWAYDAN(8).

Umpires - HP: Jason Rogers 1B: Terry Balser 3B: Rich Padilla

Start: 7:08 pm Time: 3:02 Attendance: 1633

NOLTE faced 4 batters in the 8th.

San Diego State at Brigham Young Univ. - Play-by-Play

May 12, 2006 at Provo, Utah (Larry H.Miller Field)

Score by Innings R H E

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

San Diego State..... 020 000 100 - 3 11 2

Brigham Young Univ.. 020 133 03X - 12 12 0

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

San Diego State starters: 23/cf BERRY; 5/ss ZAWADZKI; 26/lf SMYTH; 25/1b UNGRICHT;

8/2b ROMERO; 24/rf MENDOZA; 20/3b O'BRIEN; 18/dh HUSKINS; 12/c SWAYDAN; 49/p SEWELL;

Brigham Young Univ. starters: 26/lf JOHNSON, S.; 10/ss VILLEZCAS; 25/rf SAYLOR;

32/1b HIESTAND; 33/dh KO; 9/cf WALTON; 30/3b CROSBY; 8/c NELSON; 3/2b BANKS; 35/p

CRAIG;

San Diego State 1st - BERRY singled to third base. ZAWADZKI singled to left

field; BERRY advanced to second. SMYTH struck out looking. UNGRICHT flied out to cf.

ROMERO flied out to lf. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 1st - JOHNSON, S. walked. VILLEZCAS grounded into double

play 2b to ss to 1b; JOHNSON, S. out on the play. SAYLOR grounded out to 1b

unassisted. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

San Diego State 2nd - MENDOZA homered to center field, RBI. O'BRIEN grounded

out to ss. HUSKINS hit by pitch. SWAYDAN singled up the middle; HUSKINS advanced to

third. BERRY grounded out to p unassisted, RBI; SWAYDAN advanced to second; HUSKINS

scored. ZAWADZKI flied out to cf. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 2nd - HIESTAND struck out swinging. KO singled to third

base. WALTON singled to center field; KO advanced to second. CROSBY reached on a

throwing error by ss, advanced to second; WALTON advanced to third; KO scored,

unearned. NELSON flied out to rf, SF, RBI; WALTON scored, unearned. BANKS grounded

out to ss. 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.

San Diego State 3rd - SMYTH grounded out to ss. UNGRICHT grounded out to 2b.

ROMERO doubled to left field. MENDOZA struck out swinging. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0

errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 3rd - JOHNSON, S. struck out swinging, out at first c to

1b. VILLEZCAS grounded out to ss. SAYLOR struck out swinging, out at first c to 1b.

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

San Diego State 4th - O'BRIEN grounded out to 3b. HUSKINS flied out to lf.

SWAYDAN struck out swinging. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 4th - HIESTAND struck out swinging. KO doubled to right

center. WALTON grounded out to 2b; KO advanced to third. CROSBY singled to right

field, RBI; KO scored. NELSON lined out to ss. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1

LOB.

San Diego State 5th - BERRY struck out swinging. ZAWADZKI popped up to ss.

SMYTH flied out to cf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 5th - BANKS singled to left center. JOHNSON, S. walked;

BANKS advanced to second. VILLEZCAS singled down the rf line, advanced to second,

RBI; JOHNSON, S. scored; BANKS scored. SAYLOR flied out to lf. HIESTAND reached on a

fielding error by 1b; VILLEZCAS out at third 2b to 3b. HIESTAND advanced to second

on a passed ball. KO walked. WALTON singled to left field, RBI; KO advanced to

second; HIESTAND scored, unearned. KOONS to p for SEWELL. CROSBY grounded out to p

unassisted. 3 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB.

San Diego State 6th - UNGRICHT singled to shortstop. ROMERO singled up the

middle; UNGRICHT advanced to second. MENDOZA singled to left field; ROMERO advanced

to second; UNGRICHT advanced to third. O'BRIEN struck out swinging. HUSKINS reached

on a fielder's choice; MENDOZA advanced to second; ROMERO advanced to third;

UNGRICHT out at home p to c. SWAYDAN grounded out to p unassisted. 0 runs, 3

hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 6th - NELSON grounded out to 2b. BANKS singled to left

field. JOHNSON, S. walked; BANKS advanced to second. VILLEZCAS homered to right

field, 3 RBI; JOHNSON, S. scored; BANKS scored. SAYLOR flied out to lf. HIESTAND

flied out to lf. 3 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

San Diego State 7th - BERRY tripled to right center. BERRY scored on a wild

pitch. ZAWADZKI flied out to lf. SMYTH flied out to rf. UNGRICHT out at first 1b to

p. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 7th - NOLTE to p for KOONS. KO doubled down the lf line.

KO advanced to third on a wild pitch. WALTON flied out to rf. CROSBY popped up to

2b. NELSON grounded out to p. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

San Diego State 8th - ROMERO out at first 1b to p. MENDOZA singled down the

lf line. O'BRIEN struck out swinging. HUSKINS grounded out to 2b. 0 runs, 1 hit,

0 errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 8th - BANKS walked. BANKS stole second. JOHNSON, S.

singled to shortstop; BANKS advanced to third. VILLEZCAS walked; JOHNSON, S.

advanced to second. SAYLOR singled to right field, 2 RBI; VILLEZCAS advanced to

third; JOHNSON, S. scored; BANKS scored. SUWYN to p for NOLTE. HIESTAND grounded

into double play 1b to ss to p; SAYLOR out on the play; VILLEZCAS scored. KO

grounded out to 2b. 3 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

San Diego State 9th - VARGAS to 3b for CROSBY. ANDREWS to p for CRAIG.

SWAYDAN struck out looking. ANDERSON pinch hit for BERRY. ANDERSON grounded out to

p. WILLEFORD pinch hit for ZAWADZKI. WILLEFORD walked. SPIRNAK pinch hit for SMYTH.

SPIRNAK doubled down the rf line; WILLEFORD advanced to third. PEPPER pinch hit for

UNGRICHT. PEPPER struck out looking. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Tags: Results