(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah -- Gonzaga scored five runs in the final three innings to top BYU 6-4 and win the weekend series over the Cougars 2-1 on Saturday at Larry H. Miller Field.
Desmond Poulson threw 6.1 innings and only allowed one earned run for the Cougars (18-27, 8-13). He struck out four, allowed four hits and only walked two. He left the game with a 4-2 lead.
Parker Starr was 2-for-5 and a run scored to extend his hitting streak to six games. Brock Whitney went 2-for-4 with an RBI that gave BYU a 2-1 lead. Jarrett Jarvis in his one at-bat extended his hitting streak with a single.
"We have a 4-1 lead late in the game and it was a circus, basically," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "We gave up six walks and four errors. That's putting 10 runners on base against a good team."
The Cougars took the lead in the sixth inning as Gonzaga (20-25, 15-9) needed three pitchers to get through 10 BYU hitters. Starr's second single of the day put a runner on first before Eric Urry doubled over the first baseman's head to tie the game 1-1. Starr scored from first and the throw home was off target allowing Urry to advance to third.
Whitney followed with a one-run double into the right-centerfield gap to make it 2-1 BYU. The Zags intentionally walked Bret Lopez before pinch hitter CJ Latham doubled over the right fielder's head to score a runner and put runners on second and third. Another intentional walk loaded the bases before a flyout and a pitching change. Gonzaga brought in lefty Ben Brown to face left-handed Kelton Caldwell. Brown threw one pitch and hit Caldwell to score the fourth run of the inning. Brown was immediately pulled for David Bigelow, who got the last out of the inning with BYU up 4-1.
The Bulldogs chased Poulson in the very next inning, striking for two runs after a leadoff single by Nick Brooks. Brooks advanced to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball and scored on a fielder's choice. A throwing error on the fielder's choice put Mitch Gunsolus on third and Payden Cawley Lamb drove Gonzaga's third run home on a sacrifice fly after Poulson was lifted for Hayden Rogers.
The Bulldogs finished the comeback in the bottom of the eighth as BYU reliever Brandon Kinser walked in two runs with two outs to make it 5-4.
Gonzaga added an insurance run in the top of the ninth as a leadoff walk and a fielder's choice put a runner on second. Troy LaBrie singled to centerfield to score the run, but LaBrie was thrown out trying to advance to second.
The Bulldogs scored their first run in the third inning. Two singles put runners on first and second before a throwing error by Poulson on a sacrifice bunt sailed into left field, allowing the Bulldogs' first run to cross the plate. Poulson retired the next three batters to get out of the jam with just the one run scoring.
The Cougars return to action on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MDT against Utah at Larry H. Miller Field. The game will be televised on KBYU-TV. The Cougars have won both games so far in the Deseret First Duel four-game season series.