Jerseys were retired for former BYU coaches No. 20 Glen Tuckett and No. 1 Gary Pullins prior to the 6-4 defeat of San Francisco. (Photo by BYU Photo/Jonathan Hardy)
PROVO, Utah – Adam Law led BYU to a 6-4 win over San Francisco going 5 for 5 at bat in addition to hitting a two-run RBI triple in the bottom of the eighth to win the series.
"We have so much heart, so much character and so much fight that when we get down three or four runs, it's not a big deal to us," BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. "We had key at bat after at bat in the bottom of the eighth. You’ve got to look at Adam Law’s triple to put us up, and in addition to his hit, I liked James Lengal’s at bat when he almost hits one out and moves the guy over. I'm proud of him for coming in and shutting the door on the last two innings."
Interviews and Highlight here.
The Cougars trailed 4-2 in the top of the eighth before having a series of base hits. Kelton Caldwell doubled to left field. Hayden Nielsen hit an RBI single to right field sending Caldwell home. Following Nielsen’s single, Jacob Hannemann singled to right center advancing Nielsen to third.
With runners on first and third base, Brennon Anderson hit the Cougars’ second RBI single of the inning sending Nielsen home tying the game 4-4. Law finished things off for the Cougars with his two-run triple to left center giving the Cougars their first lead of the game as well as the win.
“This was a huge game for us,” Law said. “The whole game, we were waiting for hits and finally in the eighth they came. Hayden (Nielsen) came up huge for us to get the wheels rolling. I went up to bat thinking slider, and on my first pitch I luckily got the barrel on it.”
With the win, BYU improves to 26-19 overall and 12-9 in the West Coast Conference. The Dons drop to 31-21 overall and 15-9 in the WCC.
Prior to the game, BYU retired the jerseys of two hall of fame coaches Gary Pullins (No. 1) and Glen Tuckett (No. 20) during a special ceremony in front of devoted fans, family members and more than a dozen former players. Throughout their careers at BYU the two coaches won a combined 1,358 games, 10 conference championships and 28 division titles.
At the beginning of the first inning, the Dons struck first off an RBI single to left field that sent Justin Maffei home putting USF up 1-0. In the bottom of the first, Brennon Anderson singled on at his first at bat as well as Adam Law through the left side. Anderson, who was at second on the single, rounded the bases for home tying the game 1-1.
Jaycob Brugman singled up the middle for the third hit of the inning advancing Law to third. On an attempted pick off to first, Law stole home but was tagged out at home to end the inning.
Early on in the second, San Francisco’s Ryan Matranga hit a two-run homer over the left field fence on his first swing putting San Francisco up 3-1. Following Matranga’s home run, Bradley Zimmer doubled to center, sending another San Francisco runner home a score (4-1).
Both teams went scoreless in the third inning. In the bottom of the fourth, however, the Cougars advanced another runner home narrowing the lead 4-2. With two outs, Dakota Hernandez singled up the middle and was followed by Nielsen who hit an RBI double to left center sending Hernandez in for the score.
With BYU leading 6-4 in the top of the ninth, Lengal struck out the Don’s first batter on a full count. Their second at bat flied out to center field, and their final batter grounded out when third baseman Law threw him out at first.
Up next for the Cougars is another home matchup against in-state rival Utah on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MDT to determine the baseball portion of the Deseret Duel.