Vargas Leads To Sweep

Jesse Craig didn't have any strikeouts, but he kept the Cougars in the game through six innings. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Key plays Saturday helped BYU's baseball team complete a three-game sweep over Northern Colorado, ending with a 7-5 victory, its fifth win in a row.

Fans will be buzzing about the glove-flip by shortstop Danny Vargas to end the game with a double play, or the two first-to-home plate runs by Kent Walton, or Collin Fanning stealing second before the pitcher toed the rubber. Any one of a number of plays helped the Cougars, now 8-3, eke out a victory over the Bears.

Vargas even hit the game-winning RBI when he drove in J.T. Musso with his only hit of the day in the sixth inning. The sophomore shortstop could have been the "goat" in the game with fielding errors in the third and seventh innings when UNC loaded the bases and scored its runs. But Vargas' "flip" to Walton at second started the third double play for BYU of the afternoon and it sealed the game.

"The ball was blocked by the pitcher and the umpire," said Vargas of Nate Saylor's poke behind second base in the ninth inning. "I lost it and saw it, then lost it and saw it again. I dove for it and saw Walton on second, so I knew I had to get rid of it. It was amazing."

"The flip was just perfect," said Walton.

Walton had created a lot of excitement when he scored an insurance run the previous inning, nearly identical to one he scored on in the fifth. With Walton on first both innings, Apana Nakayama stroked singles to right field. The speedy Walton fired around second and third, unaware the Bears' rightfielder would bobble the ball on both plays.

"When I came into third I saw Coach (Vance) Law motion to send me home and I thought 'okay, go for it.' I just had to trust Coach."

In the eighth, however, the play was a little closer at the plate as the speedy Walton slid around the tag.

"I was definitely safe," said Walton, the sophomore second baseman of the play contested by UNC coaches and players.

"I was just trying to drive the ball," said Nakayama of his three-for-five afternoon.

Nakayama started the Cougar scoring in the second inning when led off with a single, advanced to second on Steve Parker's single and went to third when Fanning drew a walk. Kasey Ko then cleared the bases with his no-out double to right field.

The fleet Fanning, a transfer from Oklahoma, led off the fourth and helped break a 3-3 deadlock.

UNC tied the game in the third at three-all. The Bears loaded the bases, thanks to a hit-by-pitch and a bunt when pitcher Jesse Craig lost his footing. Craig rebounded on the next play to throw out a Bear at home, but UNC was able to grind out three runs when Vargas errored in anticipation of a double play which would have ended the inning with no runs.

Fanning helped BYU recapture the lead when he caught the pitcher not looking after he drew another full-count walk.

"I noticed their second baseman had his head down," said BYU first base coach Ryan Roberts after Ko had flown out to center. "When the shortstop tossed the ball back to the pitcher, I told Collin to keep his head up. He went on his own when the pitcher turned away. It was a huge momentum play and set the tone for the rest of the game."

Fanning's swipe of second caught the Bears and most of the 615 fans at Larry H. Miller Field off guard. He scored BYU's fourth run when Musso doubled down the left field line.

The Cougar pitchers worked out of several jams with the help of their fielders. Craig, who threw 70 pitches, picked up his second victory as he prepares now to start on Thursday when the Cougars return to Provo against Gonzaga. Reliever Jacob Perez worked out of a jam in the eighth, and lefty J.D. Stambaugh picked up his third save of the season.

"Our pitchers did a great job today," said Walton. "They got them to roll the ball over so we could make the plays."

The Cougars depart on Sunday to fly to Kansas State for afternoon games on Monday and Tuesday.

Northern Colorado at Brigham Young Univ.

Mar 03, 2007 at Provo, Utah (Larry H.Miller Field)

Northern Colorado 5 (5-4)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

Saylor,Nate lf........... 5 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1

Horn,Jeff 2b............. 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2

Symons,Adam 3b........... 4 0 2 2 0 0 2 1 0

Sandberg,Kevin 1b........ 4 0 0 0 0 0 5 1 1

Gorman,Grady rf.......... 3 1 1 0 1 0 2 0 0

Keene,Trey cf............ 4 1 1 0 0 1 4 0 1

Murray,Chad dh........... 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0

Ray,John c............... 3 1 0 0 0 0 4 2 0

Morales,Cory ss.......... 4 1 2 0 0 1 4 2 0

Banks,Jason p............ 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0

Keating, T.R. p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

Dennis,Chris p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

Pearson,Tyler p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 34 5 8 3 2 2 24 9 5

Brigham Young Univ. 7 (8-3)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

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

JOHNSON, Leon lf......... 3 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 1

WELLS, Stephen cf........ 5 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 2

WALTON, Kent 2b.......... 5 2 4 0 0 0 2 5 0

NAKAYAMA, Apana dh....... 5 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 2

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

FANNING, Collin rf....... 1 2 0 0 3 0 1 0 0

KO, Kasey 1b............. 4 0 1 3 0 0 14 0 2

MUSSO, J.T. c............ 4 1 2 1 0 0 3 0 0

VARGAS, Dan ss........... 4 0 1 1 0 2 1 3 2

CRAIG, Jesse p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

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

PEREZ, Jacob p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

STAMBAUGH, J.D. p....... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 36 7 15 5 5 4 27 13 10

Score by Innings R H E

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

Northern Colorado... 003 000 200 - 5 8 2

Brigham Young Univ.. 030 111 01X - 7 15 2

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

E - Gorman 2; VARGAS 2. DP - BYU Cougars 3. LOB - UNC Bears 5; BYU Cougars

10. 2B - PARKER; KO; MUSSO 2. HBP - Ray. SB - JOHNSON, L.; FANNING. CS -

WELLS; WALTON.

Northern Colorado IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

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

Banks,Jason......... 3.1 6 4 4 4 1 13 17

Keating, T.R........ 1.2 5 2 1 0 1 10 10

Dennis,Chris........ 1.1 2 0 0 1 0 6 7

Pearson,Tyler....... 1.2 2 1 0 0 2 7 7

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

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

CRAIG, Jesse........ 6.0 4 3 2 0 0 21 22

JENSEN, Matt........ 1.0 1 2 0 2 1 5 7

PEREZ, Jacob........ 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 4 4

STAMBAUGH, J.D...... 1.0 2 0 0 0 0 4 4

Win - CRAIG (2-1). Loss - Banks (1-1). Save - STAMBAUGH (3).

HBP - by CRAIG (Ray). PB - MUSSO.

Umpires - HP: Lew Carleton 1B: Randy Upton 3B: Blake Jensen

Start: 1:04 pm Time: 2:29 Attendance: 615

Keating faced 2 batters in the 6th.

Northern Colorado starters: 18/lf Saylor; 2/2b Horn; 8/3b Symons; 28/1b Sandberg;

27/rf Gorman; 25/cf Keene; 14/dh Murray; 5/c Ray; 3/ss Morales; 10/p Banks;

Brigham Young Univ. starters: 14/lf JOHNSON, L.; 1/cf WELLS; 9/2b WALTON; 24/dh

NAKAYAMA; 5/3b PARKER; 17/rf FANNING; 22/1b KO; 10/c MUSSO; 13/ss VARGAS; 35/p

CRAIG;

Northern Colorado 1st - Saylor grounded out to 1b unassisted. Horn flied out

to rf. Symons flied out to cf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 1st - JOHNSON, L. walked. JOHNSON, L. stole second.

JOHNSON, L. out at second p to ss, picked off. WELLS singled to right field. WALTON

flied out to rf. WELLS out at second c to ss, caught stealing. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0

errors, 0 LOB.

Northern Colorado 2nd - Sandberg grounded out to 3b. Gorman singled to left

field. Keene grounded into double play 3b to 2b to 1b; Gorman out on the play. 0

runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 2nd - NAKAYAMA singled to right field. PARKER singled to

left field; NAKAYAMA advanced to second. FANNING walked; PARKER advanced to second;

NAKAYAMA advanced to third. KO doubled to right field, 3 RBI; FANNING scored; PARKER

scored; NAKAYAMA scored. MUSSO flied out to rf; KO advanced to third. VARGAS popped

up to cf. JOHNSON, L. walked. WELLS grounded out to 1b unassisted. 3 runs, 3

hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Northern Colorado 3rd - Murray singled to left field. Ray hit by pitch;

Murray advanced to second. Morales singled, bunt; Ray advanced to second; Murray

advanced to third. Saylor reached on a fielder's choice; Morales advanced to second;

Ray advanced to third; Murray out at home p to c. Horn reached on a fielding error

by ss, RBI; Saylor advanced to second; Morales advanced to third; Ray scored. Symons

singled to left field, 2 RBI; Horn advanced to second; Saylor scored; Morales

scored, unearned. Sandberg grounded into double play 3b to 1b; Symons advanced to

second; Horn out on the play. 3 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 3rd - WALTON singled up the middle. WALTON out at second

c to ss, caught stealing. NAKAYAMA struck out swinging. PARKER out at first 1b to p.

0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Northern Colorado 4th - Gorman grounded out to ss. Keene flied out to cf.

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

Brigham Young Univ. 4th - FANNING walked. KO flied out to cf. FANNING stole

second. MUSSO doubled down the lf line, RBI; FANNING scored. Keating to p for Banks.

VARGAS struck out swinging. JOHNSON, L. flied out to cf. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors,

1 LOB.

Northern Colorado 5th - Ray popped up to ss. Morales flied out to cf. Saylor

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

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

pitcher. NAKAYAMA singled to right field; WALTON advanced to third, scored on a

throwing error by rf, unearned. PARKER singled to right field; NAKAYAMA advanced to

second. FANNING popped up to p. KO flied out to lf. 1 run, 3 hits, 1 error, 2

LOB.

Northern Colorado 6th - Horn flied out to lf. Symons grounded out to 2b.

Sandberg popped up to 1b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 6th - MUSSO doubled to right field. VARGAS singled to

left field, RBI; MUSSO scored. Dennis to p for Keating. JOHNSON, L. popped up to ss.

WELLS flied out to cf. WALTON singled to left center; VARGAS advanced to third.

NAKAYAMA popped up to 3b. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Northern Colorado 7th - JENSEN to p for CRAIG. Gorman walked. Keene singled

to center field; Gorman advanced to second. Murray walked; Keene advanced to second;

Gorman advanced to third. Ray popped up to 1b. Morales struck out looking. Saylor

reached on a fielding error by ss; Murray advanced to second; Keene scored,

unearned; Gorman scored, unearned. Horn grounded out to 1b unassisted. 2 runs, 1

hit, 1 error, 2 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 7th - PARKER doubled to left center. FANNING walked. KO

reached on a fielder's choice; FANNING advanced to second; PARKER out at third p to

3b. Pearson to p for Dennis. MUSSO grounded out to ss; KO advanced to second;

FANNING advanced to third. VARGAS struck out looking. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2

LOB.

Northern Colorado 8th - PEREZ to p for JENSEN. Symons singled to left field.

Symons advanced to second on a passed ball. Sandberg grounded out to 2b; Symons

advanced to third. Gorman grounded out to ss. Keene struck out swinging. 0 runs,

1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 8th - JOHNSON, L. grounded out to 3b. WELLS grounded out

to ss. WALTON singled to right center. NAKAYAMA singled, advanced to second; WALTON

advanced to third, scored on a fielding error by rf, unearned. PARKER struck out

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

Northern Colorado 9th - STAMBAUGH to p for PEREZ. Murray singled to right

field. Ray flied out to cf. Morales singled to right field; Murray advanced to

second. Saylor grounded into double play ss to 2b to 1b; Morales out on the play.

0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

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