Bronson Larsen smacked a pair of home runs in a 10-9 defeat over Northern Colorado in 10 innings at Stockton, California. (Photo by BYU Photo/Todd Wakefield)
STOCKTON, California (February 24, 2017)—Extra innings for the third time this week yielded a 10-9 victory in the 10th inning on Friday afternoon for BYU baseball over Northern Colorado.
The Cougars evened their record to 3-3, while UNC fell to 2-5, pending a follow-up game for the Bears against San Jose State to complete a split doubleheader at Billy Hebert Field.
“I can't say enough about our effort today,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We gave up a big lead early and the guys kept fighting for 10 innings. Nothing's coming easy, but I love the character of this team.”
Brock Hale drew a bases on balls to lead off the 10th inning, stole second and scored on Colton Shaver’s bloop single to center field for the winning run. Reliever Riley Gates evened his record to 1-1 with the win, striking out six in the final 2.2 innings.
Seesaw leads evaporated with UNC going ahead 4-0 in the first inning.
The Cougars batted around in the sixth inning with bases loaded three times to take their first lead of the game.
A one-out standup double in the seventh by Brennon Anderson closed the gap to 5-3. That double plated Hale, who singled to extend his hitting streak to seven games, and Keaton Kringlen, who had doubled.
Daniel Scheemann worked a full count with bases juiced again and one out in the sixth and placed a two-run double to right center to tie the game at five-all. Hale, batting again in the inning, drew an RBI walk for a 6-5 lead with two outs.
The Bears responded with a pair of solo dingers in the bottom of the sixth.
A two-run blast by Bronson Larsen in the seventh gave BYU an 8-7 lead, adding to his solo homer in the third. Anderson had doubled for the second time in as many innings to be aboard for Larsen.
Kringlen got his second double of the day in the eighth inning to drive in Hale with two out for a 9-7 margin. Then the Bears tied the game in the bottom of the ninth frame.
The Cougars finish the tournament on Saturday at 2 p.m. PST against host SJSU in a game moved to San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton.