Daniel Schneemann (10) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walkoff home run in first game of a BYU doubleheader sweep over UC Santa Barbara. (Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – A game-winner in Friday's opener (7-6) and 20 total hits in the nightcap (17-3) gave BYU baseball a doubleheader sweep over UC Santa Barbara at Miller Park.
"In my fifth year here, that was probably the biggest day we've had," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "It's nice to come back in the first game after losing a lot of close ones and the bats showed up in the second game. I'm really proud of (game one starting pitcher) Brady Corless. After giving up five he settled in and really competed for us. Hayden Rogers (game two starting pitcher) did the same thing."
Daniel Schneemann’s walkoff home run punctuated a comeback for the Cougars (6-7 overall record) in the first game of the twin set.
In the first inning, the Gauchos got to Corless with five runs on six hits.
BYU’s first runs came on a two-run bomb from designated hitter Bronson Larsen in the bottom of the second, when he drilled a 3-1 fastball over the centerfield fence to cut the UCSB lead to 5-2. It was Larsen’s fourth home run of the season.
Both teams were held at bay through the fourth inning as Corless settled in. He gave up just three hits and no runs over 4.1 innings after the rough first inning. He ended his day with 5.1 innings pitched, allowing nine hits and five earned runs.
David Clawson homered for the Cougars on the first pitch of the bottom of the fifth inning with a towering shot into the pine trees beyond the right field fence. A pair of singles from Brennon Anderson and Tanner Chauncey led to Schneemann's bases-clearing double to tie the game at 5-5. Consecutive singles from Keaton Kringlen and Kyle Dean put BYU up 6-5.
Aaron Cross replaced Corless with one out and a runner on in the top of the sixth inning. He surrendered a triple to Clay Fisher to tie the game again at 6-6. Chauncey fielded a groundball and fired home to hang up the runner between third and home for the second out and a flyout to right field set the Gauchos down.
Cross and the Cougar defense got three quick outs in the top of the seventh, highlighted by a leaping snag of a liner down the third baseline by Nate Favero.
That set up Schneemann’s walkoff shot down the right field line to lead off the bottom of the frame.
Cross moved to 1-0 on the season with the decision, going 1.2 innings and allowing just one hit.
In the second game, Anderson’s grand slam sparked a 17-3 Cougar win.
UCSB's Fisher led off the second game with a solo shot for a 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom half of the first inning, BYU got run-scoring singles from Brock Hale, Kringlen and Larsen. Larsen’s drove in two runs to give the Cougars a 4-1 lead.
BYU tacked on in the bottom of the second with two more runs. Clawson walked and got to third on a double by Anderson. Chauncey’s sacrifice fly scored Clawson and a double from Hale scored Anderson. With that, Hale extended his team-high hitting streak to 14 games.
Anderson’s grand slam in the bottom of the third scored Larsen, Favero and Clawson, and put the Cougars up 10-1.
In the fourth, Larsen punched a single through the left side to score Kringlen and put BYU up by 10 runs. Anderson came up with the bases loaded again and knocked in two more runs with a double. Chauncey then drove in a run on a double and another run came home after a single by Hale and an error. Chauncey scored the seventh run of the inning on a groundout and the Cougars were finally retired up 17-1.
UCSB scraped two more runs across against Rogers, but Jordan Wood pitched the final four outs and closed the door.
Rogers (1-0), BYU's starter, allowed eight hits and one earned run over 7.1 innings for the win.
The Cougars are back in action on Saturday for the series finale against the Gauchos (5-9) at noon MST.