Vargas Jumpstarts Cougars

Jake Wortham struck out the side, three-up-three-down, in the sixth inning. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Two goose eggs were all that showed on the inning scoreboard line for BYU as it defeated Gonzaga, 9-4, on Saturday at Larry H. Miller Field.

The Cougars, who improved to 10-6, scored in all but the fourth and eighth innings to win the three-game series with the Bulldogs after dropping last Thursday's game. Following each of the three innings on Saturday when Gonzaga scored, BYU responded with a pair of runs.

"It's called OEC for offensive execution criteria," explained BYU shortstop Danny Vargas, who delighted most of the 1,078 season-high fans in attendance. "It shows what they did won't affect us. We try to win every inning."

For his part, Vargas got the Cougars off to a good start. In the second inning with the game tied one-all, the sophomore shortstop stroked a single to Gonzaga's leftfielder, who bobbled the play. Vargas took second, but teammates Mike McKeever and J.T. Musso scored on the play to put BYU up, 3-1.

Then Vargas turned an unassisted double play (6U3) in the third and turned another defensive gem in the fourth when he went to his right, dropping down on one knee before throwing a bullet to snuff out Dustin Colclough at first.

"The whole series he had been hitting up the middle, so I shaded towards that side," said Vargas.

That set up the fireworks for the fifth inning.

Bulldog Mark Ellis doubled off the centerfield wall on the first offering from lefty Jake Wortham in the fifth to make the score 4-2, favoring BYU. In the bottom of that frame, former Cougar hurler Chris Highmark picked lead-off runner Jonathan Cluff off second on a missed hit-and-run execution after a Bulldog error had allowed Apana Nakayama on base.

Nakayama picked up his second trip to second on a pitcher-catcher miscue. Nakayama scored on a hit-and-run executed by Steve Parker. Parker moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Kasey Ko. Parker then scored when Mike McKeever beat out a 1-6-3 double play attempt to put the Cougars ahead, 6-2. That set up Highmark's "trip to the shower," as he left the game giving up half of his eight hits to former teammates from last season.

"Some of our guys have never faced a friend before like I did in the Majors," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "It gave us a bit of added motivation to face him (Highmark).

"We had a couple of hit-and-run plays that worked out well for us today. We did a good job of answering and played a full nine innings."

Three times in the game, the first, third and seventh innings, BYU scored with two outs on the board.

In the first, Leon Johnson belted a one-out double to left field, then stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly. In the third, McKeever singled up the middle with two outs, to score Parker. And in the seventh, pinch-runner Collin Fanning subbed for McKeever, promptly stealing second and third on consecutive plays, a perfect seven-of-seven for the season, then scored on Muse's single to left to make the score 8-3.

"It's been the mark of our teams the past couple years to score a lot of runs with two outs," said Law.

Three other defensive plays of note helped BYU pull off the victory. Wortham, who was credited with his third victory of the season, threw 66 pitches and struck out the side in order in the sixth for his final inning. Reliever Matt Jensen worked out of a jam with Bulldogs on the corners when he coaxed Colclough to fly out to Nakayama to close the eighth. And Cluff made a sliding snow cone catch to end the game in right field and give the 'Zags a 10-10 record.

The Cougars ready to hosts Utah Valley State on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Gonzaga University at Brigham Young Univ.

Mar 10, 2007 at Provo, Utah (Larry H.Miller Field)

Gonzaga University 4 (10-10)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

WELLS, Evan 2b........... 4 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 1

WINSTON, Brian rf........ 5 0 1 0 0 1 4 0 2

HOLCOMB, Darin 3b........ 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0

WIEGAND, Ryan 1b......... 3 0 0 0 1 1 7 0 0

COLCLOUGH, Dustin c...... 4 2 2 0 0 0 5 0 2

CASTELLITTO, Mark lf..... 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0

MCGUINNESS, Aaron ss..... 3 2 1 1 0 1 2 0 0

ELLIS, Mark dh........... 4 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 1

RHODES, Michael cf....... 4 0 2 0 0 0 4 0 1

HIGHMARK, Chris p........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

WAYT, Shawn p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

Totals................... 35 4 10 4 1 6 24 10 7

Brigham Young Univ. 9 (10-6)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

WALTON, Kent 2b.......... 5 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0

JOHNSON, Chris 2b....... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

JOHNSON, Leon cf......... 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1

WELLS, Stephen ph/cf.... 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

CLUFF, Jonathan rf....... 3 0 1 2 1 1 3 0 0

NAKAYAMA, Apana dh/lf.... 5 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 0

PARKER, Steve 3b......... 5 2 2 1 0 2 1 4 2

KO, Kasey 1b............. 3 0 1 0 1 0 12 0 0

BILLS, Thomas ph/1b..... 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2

MC KEEVER, Mike dh....... 3 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0

FANNING, Collin pr...... 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

MUSSO, J.T. c............ 3 2 2 1 1 1 6 0 2

VARGAS, Dan ss........... 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 6 2

WORTHAM, Jake p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

JENSEN, Matt p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

BARNES, Clayton p....... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 36 9 13 7 4 4 27 13 9

Score by Innings R H E

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

Gonzaga University.. 010 010 101 - 4 10 3

Brigham Young Univ.. 121 021 20X - 9 13 0

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E - WIEGAND; MCGUINNESS; RHODES. DP - BYU Cougars 1. LOB - GU Bulldogs 7;

BYU Cougars 9. 2B - WINSTON; ELLIS 2; WALTON; JOHNSON, L.. HBP - MCGUINNESS.

SH - JOHNSON, L.. SF - WELLS; CLUFF. SB - WALTON; JOHNSON, L.; FANNING 2;

MUSSO.

Gonzaga University IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

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

HIGHMARK, Chris..... 4.2 8 6 3 4 1 21 26

WAYT, Shawn......... 3.1 5 3 1 0 3 15 16

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

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

WORTHAM, Jake....... 6.0 5 2 2 0 4 22 22

JENSEN, Matt........ 2.0 3 1 1 1 2 9 10

BARNES, Clayton..... 1.0 2 1 1 0 0 4 6

Win - WORTHAM (3-2). Loss - HIGHMARK (2-4). Save - None.

WP - HIGHMARK 2; WAYT. HBP - by BARNES (MCGUINNESS). PB - COLCLOUGH.

Umpires - HP: Jeff Jenkins 1B: Dan Weikle 3B: Alan White

Start: 1:03 pm Time: 2:25 Attendance: 1078

Gonzaga University starters: 5/2b WELLS; 4/rf WINSTON; 6/3b HOLCOMB; 31/1b WIEGAND;

12/c COLCLOUGH; 23/lf CASTELLITTO; 11/ss MCGUINNESS; 21/dh ELLIS; 7/cf RHODES; 17/p

HIGHMARK;

Brigham Young Univ. starters: 9/2b WALTON; 14/cf JOHNSON, L.; 8/rf CLUFF; 24/dh

NAKAYAMA; 5/3b PARKER; 22/1b KO; 33/dh MC KEEVER; 10/c MUSSO; 13/ss VARGAS; 28/p

WORTHAM;

Gonzaga University 1st - NAKAYAMA to lf. WELLS struck out looking. WINSTON

grounded out to ss. HOLCOMB grounded out to 3b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0

LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 1st - WALTON flied out to rf. JOHNSON, L. doubled to left

field. JOHNSON, L. stole third. CLUFF flied out to rf, SF, RBI; JOHNSON, L. scored.

NAKAYAMA singled up the middle. NAKAYAMA advanced to second on a wild pitch. PARKER

grounded out to 2b. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Gonzaga University 2nd - WIEGAND grounded out to 3b. COLCLOUGH singled to

center field. CASTELLITTO singled to left center, advanced to second on the throw;

COLCLOUGH advanced to third. MCGUINNESS grounded out to 3b, RBI; COLCLOUGH scored.

ELLIS grounded out to ss. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 2nd - KO flied out to cf. MC KEEVER walked. MUSSO walked;

MC KEEVER advanced to second. VARGAS singled, advanced to second on a fielding error

by cf, advanced to third, RBI; MUSSO scored, unearned; MC KEEVER scored. WALTON

reached on a fielder's choice; VARGAS out at home 3b to c. WALTON stole second.

JOHNSON, L. grounded out to 3b. 2 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.

Gonzaga University 3rd - RHODES singled to left field. WELLS grounded into

double play ss to 1b; RHODES out on the play. WINSTON flied out to rf. 0 runs, 1

hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 3rd - CLUFF flied out to cf. NAKAYAMA flied out to rf.

PARKER singled up the middle. KO walked; PARKER advanced to second. MC KEEVER

singled up the middle, RBI; KO advanced to third; PARKER scored. MUSSO struck out

swinging. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Gonzaga University 4th - HOLCOMB flied out to rf. WIEGAND popped up to 3b.

COLCLOUGH grounded out to ss. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 4th - VARGAS flied out to cf. WALTON flied out to rf.

JOHNSON, L. grounded out to 2b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Gonzaga University 5th - CASTELLITTO lined out to 2b. MCGUINNESS singled to

center field. ELLIS doubled to center field, RBI; MCGUINNESS scored. RHODES grounded

out to 2b; ELLIS advanced to third. WELLS grounded out to 3b. 1 run, 2 hits, 0

errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 5th - CLUFF walked. NAKAYAMA reached on a fielding error

by 1b; CLUFF advanced to second. CLUFF out at second p to ss, picked off. NAKAYAMA

advanced to second on a wild pitch. PARKER singled to center field, RBI; NAKAYAMA

scored, unearned. KO singled to right field; PARKER advanced to third. MC KEEVER

reached on a fielder's choice, RBI; KO out at second p to ss; PARKER scored,

unearned. MUSSO singled to left field; MC KEEVER advanced to second. WAYT to p for

HIGHMARK. VARGAS flied out to lf. 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB.

Gonzaga University 6th - WINSTON struck out swinging. HOLCOMB struck out

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

Brigham Young Univ. 6th - WALTON doubled down the rf line. JOHNSON, L.

grounded out to p, SAC, bunt; WALTON advanced to third. CLUFF singled to shortstop,

RBI; WALTON scored. CLUFF advanced to second on a wild pitch. NAKAYAMA grounded out

to p; CLUFF advanced to third. PARKER struck out swinging. 1 run, 2 hits, 0

errors, 1 LOB.

Gonzaga University 7th - JENSEN to p for WORTHAM. COLCLOUGH singled up the

middle. CASTELLITTO struck out swinging. MCGUINNESS struck out looking. ELLIS

doubled to right field, RBI; COLCLOUGH scored. RHODES grounded out to ss. 1 run,

2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 7th - KO grounded out to 3b. MC KEEVER reached on a

fielding error by ss. FANNING pinch ran for MC KEEVER. FANNING stole second. FANNING

stole third. MUSSO singled through the left side, RBI; FANNING scored, unearned.

MUSSO stole second. VARGAS flied out to cf; MUSSO advanced to third. MUSSO scored on

a passed ball, unearned. WALTON grounded out to 3b. 2 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 0

LOB.

Gonzaga University 8th - JOHNSON, C. to 2b for WALTON. WELLS grounded out to

p, bunt. WINSTON doubled down the lf line. HOLCOMB grounded out to 2b; WINSTON

advanced to third. WIEGAND walked. COLCLOUGH flied out to lf. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0

errors, 2 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 8th - WELLS pinch hit for JOHNSON, L.. WELLS singled

through the left side. CLUFF struck out swinging. NAKAYAMA singled to center field;

WELLS advanced to third. PARKER struck out swinging. BILLS pinch hit for KO. BILLS

lined out to 3b. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Gonzaga University 9th - WELLS to cf. BILLS to 1b. BARNES to p for JENSEN.

CASTELLITTO grounded out to ss. MCGUINNESS hit by pitch. ELLIS singled to shortstop;

MCGUINNESS advanced to second. RHODES singled to left field; ELLIS advanced to

second; MCGUINNESS advanced to third. WELLS flied out to lf, SF, RBI; MCGUINNESS

scored. WINSTON flied out to rf. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Tags: Results