Second Seed Clinched in Comeback

Kent Walton's go-ahead home run in the bottom of the seventh inning capped a BYU comeback victory over Utah. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- After spotting Utah four first-inning runs, BYU re-grouped to score five unanswered runs Thursday on its way to a 5-4 victory.

The win is the 100th in Larry H. Miller Field history for the Cougars (33-19, 15-7 MWC) and clinched the second seed in the upcoming Mountain West Conference Tournament. Utah fell to 24-27 and 12-10 in league play with the loss.

BYU ace Jesse Craig (10-2) gave up only one earned run in seven innings while striking out eight to earn the win. Matthew Jensen pitched two perfect innings, striking out four for his third save of the season.

Stephen Wells led the Cougar bats, going 3-for-3 from the plate with three RBI. J.T. Musso scored a pair of runs while going 1-for-2 from the plate while Kent Walton had the big offensive blow, a solo home run in the eighth.

"It wasn't pretty at the start of the game," BYU head coach Vance Law said of the Cougars' slow start. "But we settled down and played eight strong innings. We had two great performances from two of our senior pitchers."

Utah jumped to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning. The Utes took advantage of three BYU errors in the opening frame to help Utah get three unearned runs. The Utes got RBI singles from Jay Brossman and Dustin Hennis.

The bottom of the first looked promising for the Cougars as Wells led the inning off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice and tried to score on a sharp single to right by Apana Nakayama. However, Wells was cut down at the plate on a throw from right field.

BYU did get on the in the second frame as the Cougars' Steve Parker led the inning off with a single, stole second and later scored on a RBI single by Leon Johnson. Johnson and Musso scored later in the inning on a Wells' two-run single to cut Utah's lead to 4-3.

Meanwhile, the Cougars' hurler Craig settled in, retiring eight batters in a row. BYU threatened in the fourth as the Cougars loaded with bases with two outs. Stephen Fife struck out BYU pinch hitter Austin Hall to end the Cougars' scoring threat.

BYU evened the score in the sixth with a two-out rally. Musso walked with two down in the inning and later came around to score on a Vargas double and an error in the outfield. Musso's second run of the game tied the score at four.

Kent Walton gave the Cougars their first lead in the bottom of the sixth when smoked a deep homer that easily cleared the fence in the deepest part of the ballpark to put BYU ahead 5-4. Walton's no-doubt round-tripper was his seventh of the season.

"I knew I hit it really well right when I connected," Walton said. "I figured that it would either be a home run or a double."

The one-run advantage proved to be enough as the Utes went nine-up, nine-down in the final three innings.

The same two teams continue the series Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Larry H. Miller Field with Jordan Muir on the mound. The game time was originally slated for 6 p.m. but was changed due to the NCAA softball regionals at the Miller Park complex.

Utah Utes at Brigham Young Univ.

May 17, 2007 at Provo, Utah (Larry H.Miller Field)

Utah Utes 4 (33-18,15-7 MWC)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

BURNHAM cf............... 5 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 3

SHIMADA 2b............... 4 1 2 0 0 1 1 4 0

BROSSMAN 1b.............. 4 0 1 1 0 0 10 2 2

HENNIS lf................ 4 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0

WELSH rf................. 4 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0

BALDWIN dh............... 3 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0

SHRINER c................ 4 0 0 1 0 2 7 1 1

KEMP 3b.................. 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0

GUYMON ph............... 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

MITCHELL ss.............. 3 0 2 1 1 1 1 3 0

FIFE p................... 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0

JAMES p................. 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0

WOLFGRAMM p............. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 35 4 7 4 2 12 24 12 6

Brigham Young Univ. 5 (24-27,12-10 MWC)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

WELLS, Stephen cf........ 3 0 3 3 2 0 0 0 0

FANNING, Collin rf....... 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

HALL, Austin ph/2b...... 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 1 7

NAKAYAMA, Apana dh....... 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

WALTON, Kent 2b/lf....... 4 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1

PARKER, Steve 3b......... 4 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0

KO, Kasey 1b............. 4 0 0 0 0 1 8 0 0

JOHNSON, Leon lf/rf...... 4 1 1 1 0 0 3 0 0

MUSSO, J.T. c............ 2 2 1 0 2 1 11 2 0

VARGAS, Dan ss........... 3 0 3 0 1 0 2 5 0

CRAIG, Jesse p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0

JENSEN, Matt p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 32 5 11 5 5 6 27 12 9

Score by Innings R H E

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

Utah Utes........... 400 000 000 - 4 7 2

Brigham Young Univ.. 030 001 10X - 5 11 4

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E - BURNHAM(7); SHIMADA(15); FANNING(4); WALTON(14); KO(4); VARGAS(11). DP -

Utah Utes 1; BYU Cougars 1. LOB - Utah Utes 6; BYU Cougars 9. 2B -

VARGAS(5). HR - WALTON(7). SH - FANNING(3). SB - PARKER(5); VARGAS(3). CS -

BURNHAM(8); JOHNSON, L.(7).

Utah Utes IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

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

FIFE................ 5.2 9 4 4 4 4 23 28

JAMES............... 2.0 2 1 1 1 2 8 9

WOLFGRAMM........... 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

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

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

CRAIG, Jesse........ 7.0 7 4 1 2 8 29 31

JENSEN, Matt........ 2.0 0 0 0 0 4 6 6

Win - CRAIG (10-2). Loss - JAMES (0-3). Save - JENSEN (3).

Umpires - HP: Mike Hendrickson 1B: Jason Rogers 3B: Randy Upton

Start: 7:08 pm Time: 2:35 Attendance: 1355

Utah Utes starters: 2/cf BURNHAM; 3/2b SHIMADA; 18/1b BROSSMAN; 24/lf HENNIS; 1/rf

WELSH; 8/dh BALDWIN; 7/c SHRINER; 16/3b KEMP; 12/ss MITCHELL; 19/p FIFE;

Brigham Young Univ. starters: 1/cf WELLS; 17/rf FANNING; 24/dh NAKAYAMA; 9/2b

WALTON; 5/3b PARKER; 22/1b KO; 14/lf JOHNSON, L.; 10/c MUSSO; 13/ss VARGAS; 35/p

CRAIG;

Utah Utes 1st - BURNHAM reached on a fielding error by 2b. SHIMADA singled to

left field; BURNHAM advanced to third. BROSSMAN singled to right field, RBI; SHIMADA

advanced to second, advanced to third on a fielding error by rf; BURNHAM scored,

unearned. HENNIS singled to left field, RBI; BROSSMAN advanced to second; SHIMADA

scored. WELSH reached on a fielder's choice; HENNIS advanced to second; BROSSMAN out

at third p to 3b. BALDWIN walked; WELSH advanced to second; HENNIS advanced to

third. SHRINER reached on a fielding error by ss, RBI; BALDWIN advanced to second;

WELSH advanced to third; HENNIS scored, unearned. KEMP struck out swinging. MITCHELL

walked, RBI; SHRINER advanced to second; BALDWIN advanced to third; WELSH scored,

unearned. BURNHAM struck out looking. 4 runs, 3 hits, 3 errors, 3 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 1st - WELLS singled to left field. FANNING grounded out

to p, SAC, bunt; WELLS advanced to second. NAKAYAMA singled to right field; WELLS

advanced to third, out at home rf to c. WALTON struck out swinging. 0 runs, 2

hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Utah Utes 2nd - SHIMADA grounded out to p. BROSSMAN grounded out to p. HENNIS

flied out to lf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 2nd - PARKER singled up the middle. PARKER stole second.

KO grounded out to 2b; PARKER advanced to third. JOHNSON, L. singled to shortstop,

RBI; PARKER scored. MUSSO singled to left field; JOHNSON, L. advanced to third.

VARGAS walked; MUSSO advanced to second. WELLS singled up the middle, 2 RBI; VARGAS

advanced to third; MUSSO scored; JOHNSON, L. scored. FANNING grounded into double

play ss to 1b; WELLS out on the play. 3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Utah Utes 3rd - WELSH grounded out to ss. BALDWIN struck out swinging.

SHRINER grounded out to 3b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 3rd - NAKAYAMA grounded out to ss. WALTON grounded out to

ss. PARKER grounded out to 2b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Utah Utes 4th - KEMP struck out looking. MITCHELL singled to center field.

BURNHAM singled to left field; MITCHELL advanced to second. SHIMADA struck out

looking. BROSSMAN grounded out to ss. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 4th - KO struck out looking. JOHNSON, L. reached on a

fielding error by 2b. JOHNSON, L. out at second c to 2b, caught stealing. MUSSO

walked. VARGAS singled to center field; MUSSO advanced to second. WELLS walked;

VARGAS advanced to second; MUSSO advanced to third. HALL pinch hit for FANNING. HALL

struck out looking. 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 3 LOB.

Utah Utes 5th - HALL to 2b. WALTON to lf. JOHNSON, L. to rf. HENNIS reached

on a fielding error by 1b. WELSH struck out swinging. BALDWIN flied out to rf.

SHRINER struck out swinging. 0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 5th - NAKAYAMA grounded out to 2b. WALTON grounded out to

2b. PARKER struck out looking. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Utah Utes 6th - KEMP struck out swinging. MITCHELL singled up the middle.

BURNHAM reached on a fielder's choice; MITCHELL out at second ss to 2b. BURNHAM out

at second c to ss, caught stealing. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 6th - KO grounded out to 1b unassisted. JOHNSON, L. out

at first 1b to p. MUSSO walked. VARGAS doubled to center field; MUSSO advanced to

third, scored on a fielding error by cf. WELLS singled, advanced to second on the

throw, RBI; VARGAS advanced to third. JAMES to p for FIFE. HALL struck out swinging.

1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB.

Utah Utes 7th - SHIMADA singled to right field. BROSSMAN lined out to ss.

HENNIS grounded into double play ss to 2b to 1b; SHIMADA out on the play. 0 runs,

1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 7th - NAKAYAMA popped up to p. WALTON homered to center

field, RBI. PARKER out at first 1b to p. KO flied out to rf. 1 run, 1 hit, 0

errors, 0 LOB.

Utah Utes 8th - JENSEN to p for CRAIG. WELSH flied out to rf. BALDWIN struck

out looking. SHRINER struck out swinging. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 8th - JOHNSON, L. popped up to 1b. MUSSO struck out

looking. VARGAS singled through the left side. VARGAS stole second. WELLS walked.

WOLFGRAMM to p for JAMES. HALL flied out to lf. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2

LOB.

Utah Utes 9th - GUYMON pinch hit for KEMP. GUYMON struck out swinging.

MITCHELL struck out swinging, out at first c to 1b. BURNHAM grounded out to ss. 0

runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Tags: Results