Brennon Anderson hit a solo homer to put BYU ahead 2-0 on Saturday in what ended up as a 4-2 loss. (Photo by BYU Photo)
STOCKTON, California (February 25, 2017)—Outfielder Chris Williams’ three-run homer was the difference in a 4-2 San Jose State victory over BYU baseball on Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars, now 3-4, missed an opportunity to put their record above .500 for the first time as SJSU improved to 3-3 in a game played at San Joaquin Delta College because of rain in the Bay Area.
“We need to get to a point where we are tougher mentally as a group of guys,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “I feel like we've been more talented than every team we've played, yet we can't seem to pull away from teams. I believe all these tough games will help us in the long run, but this team is talented enough to be winning the close games.”
Alert base running by David Clawson led to BYU’s initial score in the fifth inning after a leadoff double to right-center field. Clawson stretched that shallow fly into a double, then scrambled home when Bronson Larsen’s sacrifice bunt resulted in an errant throw to third base.
Cougar second baseman Brennon Anderson hit a two-out home run in the eighth inning for a 2-0 lead. Teammate Brock Hale extended his current hitting streak to eight games with a single in the eighth, but was stranded after he stole second.
BYU starter Kendall Motes was in line to be the winning pitcher after throwing the first five innings effectively, but the Spartans scored four runs in the eighth off reliever Bo Burrup. Williams capped the SJSU rally with his one-out dinger, a category he led Delta College in before transferring to the Spartans.
“I was really encouraged by Kendall's start today,” Littlewood said.
After a couple days in Provo, the Cougars return to California for a three-game series at Cal State Bakersfield Thursday, Friday and Saturday.