BYU drops series finale to No. 19 Gonzaga, 9-4


PROVO, Utah — BYU baseball gave up five runs in the eighth inning to drop its second straight game to Gonzaga, 9-4, on Saturday afternoon.

"Errors that led to unearned runs really hurt us tonight," said BYU assistant coach Brent Haring. "Offensively we had chances throughout the game to take the momentum and the lead, but we ended up a hit short in a couple of key situations." 

BYU (12-9) took an early lead in the bottom the first inning. Hayden Leatham singled up the middle to lead off for the Cougars, then Mitch McIntyre advanced him to second on a one-out single. With the count 2-2, Ryan Sepede singled to right field, scoring Leatham to give the Cougars an early 1-0 lead.

Gonzaga (16-6) threatened in the top of the second with back-to-back singles with one out, but Ryan Brady forced two-straight groundouts to end the inning.

The Cougars missed opportunities to score as they left the bases juiced in the first and third innings without being able to extend the 1-0 lead. 

Gonzaga took a three-run lead in the top of the fourth, scoring four runs on four hits with four RBI. Nate Dahle was called upon in relief and punched out the second batter he faced to get out of the jam and end the threat. 

BYU pitching blanked the Bulldogs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings but were not able to cut into the lead.

In the eighth inning, two BYU errors combined with a three-run home run led to five Gonzaga runs and a 9-1 lead.

The Cougars got three runs back in the bottom of the eight with three-straight hits including a Jacob Wilk home run to left, an Austin Deming infield single and a Jacob Rogers RBI triple to right center field. Following a Brock Watkins walk, a sacrifice fly from Ozzie Pratt scored Rogers to make it a 9-4 game. With runners at the corners, BYU grounded into an 6-4-3 double play that ended the inning.

With the 9-4 loss on Saturday, Gonzaga wins the series 2-1 and moves to 5-1 in WCC play, while BYU falls to 2-4. 

BYU will next take the field on Tuesday, March 29 as the Washington State Cougars come to Provo. The first pitch on Tuesday is slated for 1 p.m. MDT and will be televised live on BYUtv and simulcast on the BYUtv App, while the Friday contest will be broadcast solely on the BYUtv App. All three games will also air on the BYU Radio Network—107.9 FM, and the BYU Cougars App.