Dillon Robinson's solo homer was his first of the season in the Cougars' 8-3 loss to UVU. (Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah – Timely hitting by Utah Valley University led to its second-ever win in Provo, 8-3, against BYU baseball Tuesday night at Larry H. Miller Field.
“To me it was a disappointing day and a disappointing season thus far,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “I just told them (the team) the one thing we can do is play hard, play 100 percent. We may be short on talent this year, but we can play hard.”
Unlike the Wolverines (9-18), the Cougars (11-19) were inconsistent in the batter’s box, but with occasional moments of brilliance. Unable to sustain momentum, the Cougars could only produce three runs on 10 hits. UVU’s only other win at Miller Park was in 2010 in extra innings.
“These guys thought that Utah Valley was going to lay down and just let us get a win. Overall, one through nine, I wasn’t really pleased with our overall effort tonight.” Littlewood said.
The Wolverines jumped ahead quickly in the first inning, bringing one across the plate with a single and a sacrifice fly.
BYU’s Eric Urry singled his first at bat and stole second to get in scoring position. Brock Whitney followed up with an RBI single, tying the game 1-1.
The Wolverines’ Craig Brinkerhoff, who was a triple shy of a cycle, had a leadoff homer in the top of the second. The Cougars were retired in order.
BYU starting pitcher Michael Springer was relieved early in the third by Hayden Rogers. UVU doubled for two RBI to lead the Cougars 4-1. With runners on the corners, Rogers got out of the inning with two strikeouts.
In the third inning, Cougar Dillon Robinson connected on the first pitch for a solo homerun over the right-field fence, his first of the season.
BYU made another pitching change in the top of the fifth, relieving Rogers with James Lengal. UVU doubled and a walk immediately put the Wolverines in scoring position. With a single to right field, the Wolverine’s extended their lead 5-2.
BYU retired UVU in order in the seventh and got right to the bats. The Cougars then loaded the bases on a series of bad UVU plays. Brennon Lund reached first on a fielder’s choice, Urry was hit by a pitch and each advanced on a balk. With two outs, Whitney popped up.
In an attempt to produce something on the mound, BYU relieved Lengal with Rhett Nelson in the top of the eighth. Both the Cougars and the Wolverines were retired quickly in the inning. At the end of eight, BYU had 11 fly outs in the game.
Nelson walked a batter in the top of the ninth to start the inning. A UVU single put two on base, and UVU followed with another double down the left-field line for 2 RBI. UVU’s Devin Nelson was two outs shy of a complete game, throwing 121 pitches and getting his second win of the season.
Entering in the bottom of the ninth, Bret Lopez jumped on the first pitch and hit the warning track for the standup double. Lund followed with an RBI single to right field for the final Cougar run.
The Cougars stay at home this weekend to host Pacific in a three-game series Thursday, Friday and Saturday.