Molina Helps First Series Sweep

Adrian Molina's home run in fifth helped carry the Cougars past New Nexico State. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- A six-run first inning Saturday and a home run by Adrian Molina gave BYU its third straight win , 8-6, as it swept this week's series against New Mexico State.

"I'm happy to get three wins. We're starting to build some confidence and play as a team," said BYU Coach Vance Law on the Cougars' success this week.

Molina led the Cougars' 13-hit offensive outburst as he batted 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored.

The Cougars' sluggers wasted little time in giving starter Brandon Christiansen (3-0, 4.23) a big lead in the first inning, although he didn't factor into the decision.

BYU, which improves to 7-12 with the win, batted through the order as 11 Cougars came to bat against NMSU starter Frankie Duran (1-2, 7.86). BYU's hitters combined for six runs on six hits, including three doubles. Kent Walton, who hit 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, got on base twice in the frame. NMSU, drops to 10-15 with the loss.

NMSU bounced back in the top of the second, scoring one run off two hits to close the score to 6-1 in favor of BYU.

BYU's pitchers did a commendable job of keeping NMSU slugger Luke Hopkins in the ball park as they limited the big Aggie to just one RBI on 4-for-10 hitting, just four singles, in the three-game series.

In the top of the fourth, Christiansen took a sharp single off the bat of Jason Long which brought Coach Law to the mound. He kept pitching and immediately picked Long off at first with a quick move to the bag. After giving up another single, Blake Crosby turned another Cougar double play when he caught an easy liner on an NMSU hit-and-run and then tossed the retreating runner out at first to end the inning.

Looking to get the Aggies back into a game that was slipping away in the top of the fifth, pinch-hitter Derek Maytubby blasted a double off the center field wall, just out of the reach of Molina, to score two runners with two outs. The Aggies then scored two more runs to make it 6-5 BYU before Jordan Muir (1-0, 1.29), who picked up the win, came in to relieve Christiansen.

Marcos Villezcas came up big on defense for BYU with the bases loaded as he scooped up a tricky grounder and made a quick throw to first to beat the runner for out number three, preserving the Cougar lead 6-5.

Leading off the fifth for the Cougars, Molina fouled off a couple of pitches with two strikes before taking Duran deep off of the scoreboard in left for his first home run of the season, giving the Cougars a 7-5 lead

"It just felt good when I hit it," said Molina of the blast. "Coach has been telling us to swing at our pitches. Everybody has just been coming out and been aggressive."

Freshman righty Muir continues to be an integral part of the BYU bullpen. Muir worked his way out of a jam in the fith and sixth innnings to keep the Cougars ahead of the Aggies.

"Our pitching staff has been great this season," said Coach Law, "they have really gelled well together."

BYU got some big help from its defense in the top of the eighth. After a lead off single was followed by a walk, reliever Cortland Andrews got Hopkins to fly out deep to center as Molina did a complete turn around to track the ball before making the catch. Then with men on the corners, Maybtubby lined-out hard to Hiestand, who stepped on first for the solo L3 double play.

"Molina made a couple tough catches in center," said Coach Law on the Cougar center fielder.

BYU picked up another run in the bottom of the frame to extend its lead to 8-5 with one inning remaining.

NMSU made the kept the game exciting in the top of the ninth inning, scoring a run to make it an 8-6 ballgame. With two men on, Villezcas snapped up a grounder deep in the hole on the left side and made a quick throw to third to get the lead man for the second out. He then made an over-the-shoulder grab on a shallow fly to end the game. Josh Barrett, who came in with one out in the top of the ninth, picked up the save for the Cougars, his second of the season.

The Cougar, who are now 3-1 at home, will play four games at home next week starting on Tuesday against the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah at 7 p.m.

New Mexico State U. at Brigham Young Univ.

Mar. 18,2006 at Provo, Utah (Larry H.Miller Field)

New Mexico State U. 6 (10-16)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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Rodden, Vince cf......... 5 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 4

Aguirre, Abe ss.......... 3 1 0 0 2 0 1 6 0

Hopkins, Luke 1b......... 4 0 2 0 1 0 16 0 0

Harvey, Adam dh.......... 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1

Maytubby, Derek ph...... 3 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 1

Lance, Brandon c......... 5 1 1 1 0 0 3 2 3

Long, Jason 2b........... 3 1 2 0 2 0 0 4 0

Fields, Patrick lf....... 5 1 5 1 0 0 2 0 0

Montgomery, Mark rf...... 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0

Godinez, Joseph ph...... 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

Rodriguez, Jason pr..... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Uhl, Jeremy 3b........... 5 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 4

Duran, Frankie p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Gausman, Brian p........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 38 6 15 6 7 5 24 13 13

Brigham Young Univ. 8 (7-12)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

WALTON, Kent lf.......... 5 1 3 1 0 1 1 0 1

VILLEZCAS, Marcos ss..... 5 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 2

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

HIESTAND, Jeff 1b........ 4 1 1 0 1 0 11 0 1

NIELSEN, Dane dh......... 3 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 1

WORTHAM, Jake ph........ 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

MOLINA, Adrian cf........ 4 2 3 3 0 0 3 0 0

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

MUSSO, J.T. c............ 3 1 1 0 1 1 5 1 1

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

CARTER, Austin ph....... 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

VARGAS, Daniel 2b....... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

CHRISTIANSEN,Brandon p... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

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

PLATT, James p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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

BARRETT, Josh p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 37 8 13 8 3 4 27 11 8

Score by Innings R H E

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New Mexico State U.. 010 040 001 - 6 15 2

Brigham Young Univ.. 600 010 01X - 8 13 1

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E - Rodden; Long; MUSSO. DP - NMS Aggies 2; BYU Cougars 2. LOB - NMS Aggies

13; BYU Cougars 8. 2B - Maytubby; WALTON; HIESTAND; MOLINA 2. HR -

MOLINA(1). SB - Rodden 2. CS - Long. Reached on CI - Montgomery.

New Mexico State U. IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

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

Duran, Frankie...... 4.1 11 7 7 2 0 24 26

Gausman, Brian...... 3.2 2 1 0 1 4 13 14

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

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

CHRISTIANSEN,Brandon 4.2 9 5 4 3 2 21 25

MUIR, Jordan........ 1.1 2 0 0 2 1 6 8

PLATT, James........ 1.0 2 0 0 1 2 4 5

ANDREWS, Cortland... 1.1 1 1 1 1 0 4 5

BARRETT, Josh....... 0.2 1 0 0 0 0 3 3

Win - MUIR (1-0). Loss - Duran (1-2). Save - BARRETT (2).

WP - MUIR; PLATT. BK - Gausman. CI - MUSSO.

Umpires - HP: Randy Upton 1B: Bradley Hungerford 3B: Jon Clark

Start: 1:02 pm Time: 2:45 Attendance: 1076

Game notes:

Game 3 of 3

MUIR faced 1 batter in the 7th.

PLATT faced 2 batters in the 8th.

New Mexico State U. at Brigham Young Univ. - Play-by-Play

Mar. 18,2006 at Provo, Utah (Larry H.Miller Field)

Score by Innings R H E

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

New Mexico State U.. 010 040 001 - 6 15 2

Brigham Young Univ.. 600 010 01X - 8 13 1

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

New Mexico State U. starters: 1/cf Rodden; 7/ss Aguirre; 8/1b Hopkins; 17/dh Harvey;

15/c Lance; 4/2b Long; 11/lf Fields; 26/rf Montgomery; 6/3b Uhl; 16/p Duran;

Brigham Young Univ. starters: 9/lf WALTON; 10/ss VILLEZCAS; 25/rf SAYLOR; 32/1b

HIESTAND; 19/dh NIELSEN; 1/cf MOLINA; 30/3b CROSBY; 22/c MUSSO; 3/2b BANKS; 31/p

CHRISTIANSEN;

New Mexico State U. 1st - Rodden grounded out to 3b. Aguirre grounded out to

ss. Hopkins singled to right field. Harvey struck out looking. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0

errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 1st - WALTON doubled to left field. VILLEZCAS grounded

out to 2b; WALTON advanced to third. SAYLOR singled to right field, RBI; WALTON

scored. HIESTAND walked; SAYLOR advanced to second. NIELSEN singled through the left

side, RBI; HIESTAND advanced to second; SAYLOR scored. MOLINA doubled to left

center, 2 RBI; NIELSEN scored; HIESTAND scored. CROSBY grounded out to 3b; MOLINA

advanced to third. MUSSO walked. BANKS singled to center field, RBI; MUSSO advanced

to third; MOLINA scored. WALTON singled to left field, advanced to second, RBI;

BANKS advanced to third; MUSSO scored. VILLEZCAS grounded out to ss. 6 runs, 6

hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

New Mexico State U. 2nd - Lance grounded out to ss. Long grounded out to 3b.

Fields singled to right field. Montgomery reached on catcher's interference; Fields

advanced to second. Uhl singled to center field, RBI; Montgomery advanced to second;

Fields scored, unearned. Rodden flied out to lf. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 2

LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 2nd - SAYLOR grounded out to 2b. HIESTAND flied out to

cf. NIELSEN singled to left field. MOLINA doubled down the lf line; NIELSEN advanced

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

New Mexico State U. 3rd - Aguirre flied out to rf. Hopkins singled to right

field. Harvey struck out looking. Lance popped up to ss. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors,

1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 3rd - MUSSO flied out to lf. BANKS grounded out to c,

bunt. WALTON grounded out to ss. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

New Mexico State U. 4th - Long singled to pitcher. Long out at first p to 1b,

picked off. Fields singled to center field. Montgomery grounded into double play 3b

to 1b; Fields out on the play. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 4th - VILLEZCAS grounded out to ss. SAYLOR flied out to

rf. HIESTAND doubled to center field. NIELSEN fouled out to 1b. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0

errors, 1 LOB.

New Mexico State U. 5th - Uhl flied out to cf. Rodden walked. Rodden stole

second. Aguirre walked. Hopkins popped up to ss. Maytubby pinch hit for Harvey.

Maytubby doubled to center field, 2 RBI; Aguirre scored; Rodden scored. Lance

singled to left field, advanced to second on the throw, RBI; Maytubby scored. Long

walked. Fields singled up the middle, RBI; Long advanced to second; Lance scored.

MUIR to p for CHRISTIANSEN. Montgomery walked; Fields advanced to second; Long

advanced to third. Uhl grounded out to ss. 4 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 5th - MOLINA homered to left field, RBI. CROSBY grounded

out to 2b. MUSSO singled up the middle. Gausman to p for Duran. BANKS grounded out

to ss; MUSSO advanced to second. WALTON struck out swinging, grounded out to c

unassisted. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

New Mexico State U. 6th - Rodden singled to left field. Rodden stole second.

Aguirre grounded out to 3b. Hopkins walked. Hopkins advanced to second on a wild

pitch; Rodden advanced to third. Maytubby struck out looking. Lance grounded out to

p. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 6th - VILLEZCAS reached on a fielding error by 2b. SAYLOR

struck out swinging. HIESTAND grounded into double play 1b unassisted; VILLEZCAS out

on the play. 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, 0 LOB.

New Mexico State U. 7th - Long singled through the left side. PLATT to p for

MUIR. Long out at second c to ss, caught stealing. Fields singled to center field.

Montgomery struck out swinging. Fields advanced to second on a wild pitch. Uhl

struck out looking. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 7th - WORTHAM pinch hit for NIELSEN. WORTHAM struck out

swinging. MOLINA lined out to 1b. CROSBY singled up the middle. MUSSO struck out

swinging, out at first c to 1b. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

New Mexico State U. 8th - Rodden singled up the middle. Aguirre walked;

Rodden advanced to second. ANDREWS to p for PLATT. Hopkins flied out to cf; Rodden

advanced to third. Maytubby grounded into double play 1b unassisted; Aguirre out on

the play. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 8th - CARTER pinch hit for BANKS. CARTER walked. CARTER

advanced to second on a balk. WALTON singled to center field, advanced to second on

a throwing error by cf; CARTER advanced to third. VILLEZCAS grounded out to ss.

SAYLOR reached on a fielder's choice, RBI; CARTER scored, unearned. HIESTAND

grounded into double play 2b to ss to 1b; SAYLOR out on the play. 1 run, 1 hit, 1

error, 1 LOB.

New Mexico State U. 9th - VARGAS to 2b for CARTER. Lance flied out to cf.

Long walked. Fields singled up the middle; Long advanced to second. Godinez pinch

hit for Montgomery. BARRETT to p for ANDREWS. Godinez singled to right field, RBI;

Fields advanced to second; Long scored. Rodriguez pinch ran for Godinez. Uhl reached

on a fielder's choice; Rodriguez advanced to second; Fields out at third ss to 3b.

Rodden flied out to ss. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Tags: Results