Junior Nate Favero swatted a pair of two-run homers in the eighth and ninth innings for an 8-4 win for No. 22 BYU at Santa Clara on Saturday. (Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
SANTA CLARA, California (May 6, 2017)—Nate Favero hit a pair of two-run homers in late innings to guide No. 22 BYU baseball to an 8-4 victory and sweep over Santa Clara on Saturday.
“On the first one I thought it was definitely going to go out,” Favero said. “On the second one there was enough backspin for it to go out."
Batting No. 8 in the order, Favero accounted for BYU's final five runs of the game and went 8-for-13 with nine RBI in the sweep over the Broncos. The junior’s eighth-inning shot on a 3-1 count proved to be the game-winning RBI and his ninth-inning dinger was on the first pitch again to right field.
Colton Shaver, who joined Favero with a team-leading three hits, scored from Favero’s strokes in the sixth and eighth innings. Overall, BYU tallied 14 hits on the afternoon, never trailing after taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Junior Hayden Rogers improved his record to a team-best six wins against one loss. Rogers struck out five in 5.2 innings and got stalwart relief from Keaton Cenatiempo for three innings and Riley Gates for the final out of the game.
"I couldn't be more proud of our effort this weekend," BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. "Hayden (Rogers) gave us a great start today and Keaton (Cenatiempo) and Riley (Gates) were very solid out of the pen. Nate (Favero) had a great weekend on the offensive and defensive side. It's so nice to be able to get that kind of production out of the bottom of our order."
The Cougars strengthened their first place standing in the West Coast Conference, with a 17-4 record and 29-14 overall mark. Santa Clara dropped to 7-14 in the league and 11-35 overall.
BYU next hosts Utah to determine the Deseret First Duel on Tuesday at 6 p.m., then returns to league play hosting a three-game series starting Thursday against Portland.