Gonzaga University
May 24 | 01:00 PM
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Brigham Young University
Banner Island Ballpark

404 W. Fremont St. Stockton CA 95203

Ralph R. Zobell | Posted: 24 May 2013 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Ralph R. Zobell

Barker, Lengal and Cougar bats eliminate Gonzaga, 8-1

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STOCKTON, Calif. (May 24, 2013)—No. 1 seed Gonzaga was eliminated Friday afternoon by No. 3 seed BYU 8-1 in the West Coast Conference Baseball Tournament.

Not only did BYU (32-20) defeat Gonzaga (32-21-1), in the elimination bracket, the Cougars beat Zag southpaw Tyler Olson (9-4), the WCC Pitcher of the Year who carved them up last month in Spokane, Wash.

“We didn’t want to face Olson in the loser’s bracket,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “As we look back at Saint Mary’s we saw three left-handed starters. We saw a really good left-hander at ASU, and we saw a left-hander yesterday. We’ve seen them.   It’s not something new to us. If we would have gone the last three weeks without seeing a left-hander, it probably would have been a different story.”

The Cougars battered Olson for 11 hits and countered with sophomore right-handers Jeff Barker (6-3) and James Lengal, who got his sixth save of the season.

“Our approach was not to swing at a fastball,” Littlewood said. “We stayed with our game plan and hit his off-speed stuff. Barker and Lengal were lights out. He (Lengal) was 90-93 and very unhittable today.”

Previously ranked Gonzaga ended its season on a seven-game skid. Meanwhile, BYU finished the season on a seven-game win streak, only ended by a 10-inning loss to San Diego Thursday.

Among the defensive gems was Cougar first baseman Brock Whitney, who helped out on both ends of a fourth-inning-ending double play, the first of two for BYU in the game. And third baseman Adam Law bare-handed a relay from left field to zing a Zag at home plate to end the sixth frame.

With BYU behind 1-0 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, an intentional walk to Whitney was sandwiched between a Brennon Anderson double and four singles which all resulted in runs or RBI. When the damage was done that inning, catcher Dakota Hernandez stood on second base after belting in the fourth run with his single up the middle.

Hernandez returned behind home plate to guide Barker through his final inning before Lengal slammed the door.

“They (Gonzaga) were pressing a bit on the other side,” Littlewood said. “There is more pressure on the No. 1 seed to win in tournaments because the expectations are there. We talked about not making excuses. We talked about not letting any thoughts come into your mind like ‘hey, we had a great season anyway.’ ”

The Cougars continue play Friday evening in the WCC tourney, facing the loser of the San Francisco-San Diego winner’s bracket game. Survivors advance to Saturday evening’s championship game televised live on ESPNU.

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Ralph R. Zobell | Posted: 18 May 2013 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Ralph R. Zobell

No. 13 ASU hosts BYU in tourney tune-up

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No. 13 Arizona State hosts BYU Tuesday night in what the Cougars hope to use as a springboard to this week’s West Coast Conference Tournament.

BYU, 30-19 overall and 15-9 in the WCC, finishes the regular season at ASU, 34-17-1, 15-12,  in a game starting at 6:30 p.m. PT. ASU lost 7-6 to rival Arizona on Sunday.

“We’re going to see some good pitching from them,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We wanted some live at bats to keep us sharp on Tuesday and be competitive in the tournament. We want to go in there and win. We want to keep our pitching staff fresh. I like the fact we are playing. We scheduled the game in hopes we would be going to our tournament.”

BYU will be starting lefty Mark Anderson (4-1, 4.43) on the mound against the Sun Devils.

“We have to beat ASU and finish first or second in the tournament to have a chance to go on to the NCAA tournament. We have to have a good showing. All season long it’s been inning-by-inning for us and that will be our same approach.”

Following the game at ASU, the No. 3-seeded Cougars will fly to California for a Thursday evening game against No. 2-seed San Diego in the first round of the WCC Tournament at Stockton, Calif.

For more information, please download the 12-page game notes below:

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