No. 26 BYU comes up with too little too late in close one to UVU


PROVO, Utah — No. 26 BYU baseball’s 11th-inning rally was cut short as it fell 7-6 to Utah Valley Tuesday night at Miller Park.

"It was kind of a war of attrition. We were down to our last guys. You have to tip your hat to Utah Valley," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "They were down a couple of runs in the late innings away from home, and they found a way to get it done. I don't think we pitched particularly well tonight and they made plays. They got key hits and beat us tonight."

The game needed all 3 hours and 52 minutes to determine the outcome as the Cougars (30-11) gave up two runs in the top of the 11th inning and only scored one in the last inning in the loss to the Wolverines (26-18).

BYU used seven pitchers in the game while UVU threw eight. On the offensive side, the Cougars were out-hit by UVU 13-11 while leaving 11 runners on base.

In the top of the 11th, a solo home run by Justin Erlandson pushed Utah Valley ahead 6-5. After a change from the pen with Zach Brinkerhoff taking the mound, the Wolverines scored one more for the 7-5 lead.

The Cougar rally was cut short. After Brennon Lund and Hayden Nielsen reached with no outs, two pop outs led to a sacrifice to score Lund. The game ended 7-6 on Eric Urry’s pop out to the pitcher.

The centerfielder Lund, shortstop Nielsen and right fielder Keaton Kringlen all had two hits apiece. Catcher Colton Shaver led the team with two RBI.

BYU opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first. Nielsen hit the gap for a one-out triple. Shaver hit the same gap two batters later for what looked to be an extra-base hit, but an athletic catch in right field turned Shaver’s hit into a sacrifice fly, scoring Nielsen for the 1-0 lead.

Jordan Wood took the mound in the second inning in a relief of Hayden Rogers, making quick work of the UVU order, sitting the batters down 1-2-3.

The next inning Wood took the mound again, but this time the Wolverines strung together scoring spurt. A one-out single dropped in shallow left field to score a runner from third. UVU took the 2-1 lead after BYU tried to turn two, only coming up with the out at second.

In the third frame, Nielsen knocked a single through the middle for an RBI to knot the game at 2-2, scoring Lund.

Shaver waited patiently for his first hit of the game, loading the bases with a single to right field. Urry then sacrificed to deep center to drive in a run, 3-2. A balk by the Wolverine pitcher plated Kringlen for the 4-2 tally heading to the fourth.

The game moved along with three scoreless innings until Utah Valley manufactured a rally in the top of the seventh to cut BYU’s lead to 4-3.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Keaton Cenatiempo entered the game in relief of Bo Burrup. A groundout RBI for UVU was all that scored as Cenatiempo got batters to foul out and strike out to end the frame.

The Cougars answered with Kringlen’s RBI double off the wall in right center that scored Nielsen for the 5-3 score after seven innings.

The Wolverines fought back again as they added another run with an RBI double to the gap in left-center field, making it 5-4.

In the top of the ninth, a UVU fielder’s choice RBI tied the game at 5-5 to force extras where the Wolverines would come out on top.

BYU hits the road for a West Coast Conference series at Pepperdine with game times at 3 p.m. PDT on Thursday and Friday and noon on Saturday. All three games are available on with the latter two slated for ESPN 960 AM and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143.