Wes Guenther was ruled out on the first of two controversial fourth-inning plays in a 2-0 loss at San Francisco. (Photo by Jon Hardy/BYU)
SAN FRANCISCO—A pitchers’ duel turned in favor of host San Francisco Saturday afternoon as the Dons defeated BYU baseball 2-0.
Those runs came in the sixth inning for USF (21-26, 8-7) as it won the series against BYU (18-17, 7-5).
Pitchers Desmond Poulson and Alex Balog had a standoff, until Balog’s teammates milked a pair of singles for a 2-0 lead in the sixth.
The Cougars, still battling for second place in the West Coast Conference, were unable to cash in on at least three offensive opportunities.
BYU loaded the bases in the fourth inning in an unusual fashion. Freshman shortstop Tanner Chauncey got the first Cougar hit of the game, a single to second base. Chauncey advanced to third when Wes Guenther stopped midway to first base on a sacrifice bunt, but was not tagged out.
After an umpire conference, it was ruled that Guenther had been called out, but Chauncey was allowed to stay at third because of an errant toss to first. Then Jaycob Brugman drew a walk and attempted to steal second, but Kelton Caldwell was called out because of batter interference. Brugman later stole second before Alex Wolfe drew a walk.
“Some crazy things happened and that changed the complexion of the game,” BYU coach Vance Law said. “We could have had first and third with no one out, then we got called out with interference at home plate. That inning really hurt us and took away a lot of momentum. It seemed like every call went against us today, we’re not catching any breaks, but we need to generate our own.”
BYU had the game-tying run on base in the seventh when Caldwell and Wolfe led off with consecutive singles. In the eighth, the Cougars had the game-tying run at the plate after a Dons’ double play earlier in the frame.
The Cougars play at Utah Valley University on Tuesday before returning home to host league-leading San Diego in a three-game series starting Thursday.