PASCO, Wash. – Pitchers and a pair of seniors led BYU to its first-ever victory over Washington State in the Evergreen State, 3-0 on Tuesday night.
Before 3,360 fans, the blue Cougars (13-21) defeated the red Cougars (15-14) at Gesa Stadium, home of the single A Tri-City Dust Devils, instead of playing at Wazzu’s home campus at Pullman. BYU had never beaten WSU in six previous games in the state of Washington.
BYU seniors Kelton Caldwell and Brock Whitney had consecutive singles in the seventh inning and scored on CJ Latham’s one-out single to right field. The Wazzu outfielder made a throwing error which allowed Whitney to score. Latham scored on Parker Starr’s single to right field.
Freshman lefty Hayden Rogers took advantage of that lead and was credited with his first victory with two and two-thirds innings work in relief. Rogers struck out the first and third batters of the seventh for two of his four strikeouts in relief. Veteran pitchers Desmond Poulson, who started, and Kolton Mahoney kept the red Cougars scoreless until the blue Cougars took the lead with Rogers.
Closer Brandon Kinser picked up a four-out save, his third of the season. The win was the first shutout since Mahoney threw his no-hitter last month at Nicholls State in Louisiana. The win also gives BYU a 3-0 record this season against teams in the Pac-12 Conference.
“I'm extremely proud of our coaching staff and players for the way they prepared for this game,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We had a plan on the mound and a plan at the plate and we executed both to perfection. Desmond set a great tone for us and all the guys followed his lead. It was great to see a freshman (CJ Latham) step up and come through big for us. It's nice to get a quality win against a quality team on the road to start this long road trip.”
Caldwell went 3-for-4 for the night, while Whitney extended his hitting streak to 10 games going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.
BYU missed a couple of scoring opportunities. In the sixth inning Brennon Lund extended his hitting streak to eight games when he bunted and beat out the throw for single. Lund advanced to second on a ground out, but was tagged out on a double play to end the sixth inning. The Cougars missed a bases loaded opportunity in the second inning, too.
BYU now flies to California for a three-game series against West Coast Conference leader Pepperdine (25-7, 10-2 WCC). The Cougars and Waves play on Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m. PDT and on Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT.