Johnson's Walkoff Homer Downs Utes

Leon Johnson's ninth inning, walk-off home run gave BYU its second 5-4 victory in as many nights against Utah. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- A sell-out, season-high crowd of 2,349 left Larry H. Miller Field happy as Leon Johnson blasted a ninth-inning solo home run to give BYU a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Utah.

"What a ballgame is all I have to say," BYU head coach Vance Law said. "It was a great college atmosphere tonight with great fan support. They were treated to a great game."

The win improves the Cougars to 34-18 on the season (16-7 in Mountain West Conference play) and guarantees a series win over the Utes (24-28, 12-11).

For the second consecutive night, the Utes jumped to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Jesse Shriner delivered the big blow for Utah, connecting on a two-run double. The Cougars also had defensive struggles in the first as they committed an error to help Utah jump to the early lead.

BYU cut into the lead with a run in the bottom of the first. The Cougars benefited from excellent team speed. Johnson got on base thanks to an error by second baseman Corey Shimada. After Johnson stole second, he came around to score on a bunt single by Stephen Wells and an error by Utah first baseman Jay Brossman.

In the fourth, BYU continued to chip away at the Utes' lead. Kent Walton homered for the second consecutive game to lead off the inning. Steve Parker and Kasey Ko followed with back-to-back singles. Parker advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a J.T. Musso sacrifice fly.

The next inning the Cougars threatened again, getting runners on first and third with just one out to chase Utah starter Eric King from the game. BYU was unable to score as Parker drove a ball to the warning track in the deepest part of the ballpark to fly out to end the scoring threat.

Meanwhile, BYU's Jordan Muir settled in. After the four runs in the first inning, Muir retired the next 15 batters in a row.

"Jordan was a pitch or two from coming out of the game in the first inning," Law said. "I'm really proud about how he turned it around and gave us seven strong innings."

The Cougars tied the game in the seventh frame. Johnson got aboard with a walk, advanced to third on Wells' fourth hit of the game and scored on an Apana Nakayama fielder's choice.

The drama intensified in the bottom of the ninth when Dan Vargas roped a double into the left-center gap but was thrown out trying to leg out a triple. Johnson was the next up and drove a 2-1 pitch well over the right-center fence for his fifth homer of the season and third run of the game.

"I was planning on bunting Vargas into scoring position," Johnson said. "Then I had to change my approach. I wasn't looking for a home run but I knew it was gone when I hit it."

"I went from misery to elation in seconds," Law added. "It happens that way a lot in baseball."

The Cougars will go for a series sweep in Saturday's season finale. The game will be senior day for three BYU players playing in their final home game. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Utah Utes at Brigham Young Univ.

May 18, 2007 at Provo, Utah (Larry H.Miller Field)

Utah Utes 4 (24-28,12-11 MWC)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

BURNHAM, Nate cf......... 3 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0

SHIMADA, Corey 2b........ 3 1 1 0 1 0 4 4 2

BROSSMAN, Jay 1b......... 4 0 0 0 0 1 6 0 0

HENNIS, Dustin lf........ 3 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0

GUYMON, Cody ph......... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

LOWERY, Nick lf......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

WELSH, John rf........... 4 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 0

BALDWIN, Brett dh........ 3 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 1

SHRINER, Jesse c......... 4 0 1 2 0 1 7 1 0

KEMP, Erich 3b........... 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0

MITCHELL, Mike ss........ 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 2

KING, Eric p............. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

CULLERS, Chad p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

BRUNEEL, Brett p........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 33 4 6 4 2 6 25 16 5

Brigham Young Univ. 5 (34-18,16-7 MWC)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

JOHNSON, Leon rf......... 4 3 1 1 1 1 3 1 0

WELLS, Stephen cf........ 4 0 4 0 0 0 1 0 0

NAKAYAMA, Apana lf....... 4 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 1

WALTON, Kent 2b.......... 4 1 2 1 0 2 0 4 0

PARKER, Steve 3b......... 3 1 1 0 1 0 1 3 4

KO, Kasey 1b............. 4 0 2 0 0 1 13 0 0

FRAMPTON, Chase dh....... 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0

MUSSO, J.T. c............ 3 0 0 1 0 0 6 0 1

VARGAS, Dan ss........... 4 0 1 0 0 2 1 2 1

MUIR, Jordan p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

HOWELL, Blaine p........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

WARD, Michael p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 31 5 12 4 3 7 27 11 7

Score by Innings R H E

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

Utah Utes........... 400 000 000 - 4 6 2

Brigham Young Univ.. 100 200 101 - 5 12 1

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Note: 1 out, 0 runners LOB when the game ended.

E - SHIMADA(16); BROSSMAN(13); WALTON(15). DP - Utah Utes 2; BYU Cougars 1.

LOB - Utah Utes 5; BYU Cougars 7. 2B - BURNHAM(12); SHRINER(9); VARGAS(6).

HR - JOHNSON, L.(5); WALTON(8). HBP - BURNHAM. SH - FRAMPTON 2(2). SF -

MUSSO(1). SB - JOHNSON, L.(27). CS - KO(2).

Utah Utes IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

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

KING, Eric.......... 4.1 7 3 2 2 3 17 21

CULLERS, Chad....... 3.0 3 1 1 1 3 10 12

BRUNEEL, Brett...... 1.0 2 1 1 0 1 4 4

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

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

MUIR, Jordan........ 7.0 5 4 2 2 4 26 29

HOWELL, Blaine...... 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 4 4

WARD, Michael....... 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 3 3

Win - WARD (3-1). Loss - BRUNEEL (3-5). Save - None.

HBP - by MUIR (BURNHAM).

Umpires - HP: Jason Rogers 1B: Randy Upton 3B: Mike Hendrickson

Start: 7:36 pm Time: 2:33 Attendance: 2349

Game notes:

Utah Utes starters: 2/cf BURNHAM; 3/2b SHIMADA; 18/1b BROSSMAN; 24/lf HENNIS; 1/rf

WELSH; 8/dh BALDWIN; 7/c SHRINER; 16/3b KEMP; 12/ss MITCHELL; 34/p KING;

Brigham Young Univ. starters: 14/rf JOHNSON, L.; 1/cf WELLS; 24/lf NAKAYAMA; 9/2b

WALTON; 5/3b PARKER; 22/1b KO; 16/dh FRAMPTON; 10/c MUSSO; 13/ss VARGAS; 12/p MUIR;

Utah Utes 1st - BURNHAM doubled down the lf line. SHIMADA singled, bunt;

BURNHAM advanced to third. BROSSMAN struck out looking. HENNIS reached on a fielding

error by 2b, RBI; SHIMADA advanced to second; BURNHAM scored. WELSH singled to

center field; HENNIS advanced to second; SHIMADA advanced to third. BALDWIN walked,

RBI; WELSH advanced to second; HENNIS advanced to third; SHIMADA scored, unearned.

SHRINER doubled to left field, 2 RBI; BALDWIN advanced to third; WELSH scored;

HENNIS scored, unearned. KEMP struck out swinging. MITCHELL grounded out to ss. 4

runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 1st - JOHNSON, L. reached on a fielding error by 2b.

JOHNSON, L. stole second. WELLS singled, bunt; JOHNSON, L. advanced to third, scored

on a throwing error by 1b, unearned. NAKAYAMA grounded into double play ss to 2b to

1b; WELLS out on the play. WALTON struck out swinging. 1 run, 1 hit, 2 errors, 0

LOB.

Utah Utes 2nd - BURNHAM grounded out to 2b. SHIMADA walked. BROSSMAN flied

into double play rf to 1b; SHIMADA out on the play. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0

LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 2nd - PARKER walked. KO grounded into double play 2b to

ss to 1b; PARKER out on the play. FRAMPTON walked. MUSSO reached on a fielder's

choice; FRAMPTON out at second ss to 2b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Utah Utes 3rd - HENNIS flied out to lf. WELSH fouled out to 3b. BALDWIN

struck out looking. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 3rd - VARGAS flied out to rf. JOHNSON, L. grounded out to

p. WELLS singled down the rf line. NAKAYAMA grounded out to ss. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0

errors, 1 LOB.

Utah Utes 4th - SHRINER flied out to cf. KEMP flied out to rf. MITCHELL

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

Brigham Young Univ. 4th - WALTON homered to left field, RBI. PARKER singled

to right field. KO singled to right field; PARKER advanced to second. FRAMPTON out

at first p to 2b, SAC, bunt; KO advanced to second; PARKER advanced to third. MUSSO

flied out to rf, SF, RBI; PARKER scored. VARGAS struck out looking. 2 runs, 3

hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Utah Utes 5th - BURNHAM lined out to ss. SHIMADA grounded out to 1b

unassisted. BROSSMAN flied out to lf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 5th - JOHNSON, L. struck out looking. WELLS singled to

center field. NAKAYAMA singled up the middle; WELLS advanced to third. CULLERS to p

for KING. WALTON struck out swinging. PARKER flied out to cf. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0

errors, 2 LOB.

Utah Utes 6th - HENNIS struck out swinging. WELSH grounded out to 3b. BALDWIN

grounded out to p. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 6th - KO singled to right field. FRAMPTON out at first p

to 2b, SAC, bunt; KO advanced to second. MUSSO grounded out to ss. KO out at third c

to p to 3b, caught stealing. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Utah Utes 7th - SHRINER grounded out to 3b. KEMP grounded out to 2b. MITCHELL

singled to center field. BURNHAM hit by pitch; MITCHELL advanced to second. SHIMADA

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

Brigham Young Univ. 7th - VARGAS struck out swinging. JOHNSON, L. walked.

WELLS singled to left field; JOHNSON, L. advanced to third. NAKAYAMA reached on a

fielder's choice, RBI; WELLS out at second 2b to ss; JOHNSON, L. scored. WALTON

singled to right field; NAKAYAMA advanced to second. PARKER reached on a fielder's

choice; WALTON advanced to second; NAKAYAMA out at third 3b unassisted. 1 run, 2

hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Utah Utes 8th - HOWELL to p for MUIR. BROSSMAN grounded out to 3b. GUYMON

pinch hit for HENNIS. GUYMON grounded out to 2b. WELSH singled to center field.

BALDWIN struck out swinging. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 8th - LOWERY to lf for GUYMON. KO struck out swinging.

BRUNEEL to p for CULLERS. FRAMPTON struck out swinging. MUSSO grounded out to 2b.

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

Utah Utes 9th - WARD to p for HOWELL. SHRINER struck out swinging. KEMP

grounded out to ss. MITCHELL flied out to rf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0

LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 9th - VARGAS doubled, out at third cf to ss to 3b.

JOHNSON, L. homered to right field, RBI. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Tags: Results