San Francisco—All stops were pulled out for BYU’s baseball team Thursday as it took another ninth-inning loss, this time to San Francisco, 8-7.
The Cougars (7-16 and 0-4 in the West Coast Conference) fell victim to a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning after tying the game in the top of that frame. Outfielder Matt Sinatro hit a one-out single to score Michael Eaton for the winning run.
“We scratched and clawed to get back into this game,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We have a lot of young guys that have to figure this out in a hurry. We have to get better production. Good players make plays when it counts and we didn’t do it today. We are too good to be 7-16.”
BYU tied the game for the second time when freshman outfielder Brennon Lund knocked a two-out single to left field in the ninth, scoring pinch-runner Bryan Heward from second base to tie the game at seven-all.
After surrendering a pair of runs in both the first and second innings, the Cougars hung five runs on the Dons in the third inning. Three consecutive singles by Hayden Nielsen, Lund and Parker Starr loaded the bases, enabling Eric Urry to draw an RBI walk. The big hits in the third were a two-out, two-run double by Kelton Caldwell and an RBI double off the leftfield wall by Jarrett Jarvis, giving BYU a 5-4 lead.
The Dons loaded the bases, chasing Desmond Poulson from the game in the fifth inning and scored a pair of unearned runs via a Nielsen error and hit batter to take a 7-5 lead.
“He (Poulson) had to rely on his fastball because he couldn’t locate his curve,” Littlewood said.
Caldwell brought the Cougars back within a run, 7-6, when he hit the 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for a lead-off solo homer in the sixth.
The Cougars were unsuccessful in stolen base situations, used three pitchers, a couple pinch-hitters and juggled the defense mostly to no avail and as they tried for their first league win.
The second of the three-game series at San Francisco (10-9, 1-3) is Friday at 3 p.m. PDT.