Two Colton Shaver homers propel BYU baseball to Deseret First Duel win over Utah
PROVO, Utah – Colton Shaver’s two home runs helped BYU baseball beat Utah in game two the Deseret First Duel Tuesday night at Larry H. Miller Field.
“It’s pretty special what Colton does,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “His approach as a freshman and being able to protect Dillon Robinson in the lineup, he’s just been great for us.”
BYU (18-19, 8-7 West Coast Conference) scored its seven runs on 10 hits while having one error in the field and holding Utah (13-22) to only six runs and five hits.
Shaver led the way with four RBI while picking up two hits. Bronson Larsen and Hayden Nielsen each added two hits with Nielsen knocking in the game-winning run. The Cougar bullpen pitched four shutout innings while not allowing the Utes to have only one hit.
After a strikeout to start the eighth, three-straight BYU batters walked to load the bases with only one out. With two strikes, Nielsen hit an RBI infield single to the left side to give BYU the 7-6 lead.
After striking out the first batter he faced, senior BYU starter Brady Corless left a pitch up in the zone that Utah shortstop Cody Scaggari drilled over the left-field wall. Corless bounced back and struck out the side to get the Cougars out of the inning only down 1-0.
Larsen and Eric Urry led off the second with back-to-back singles; each extending their hitting streaks to 10 and nine games, respectively. Senior Parker Starr laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to put Cougars on second and third with only one out. Larsen scampered home on a passed ball to even the score at one heading to the third.
With one out in the third, BYU second baseman Tanner Chauncey singled to right field to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Dillon Robinson was plunked in the shoulder to give BYU runners on first and second.
Colton Shaver blasted a 3-2 pitch over the scoreboard in left field to put BYU up 4-2 in the third. The blast was Shaver’s team-leading seventh on the season and his third against the Utes this season.
With the bases loaded and one out, Utah third baseman Dallas Carroll hit a grand slam to left field to give the Utes back the lead at 6-4 in the fifth.
Shaver blasted another homerun to left field in the fifth, this time the ball landed on Campus Drive beyond the stadium. It’s the second time this season that Shaver has hit two home runs against Utah and the third time this season he’s hit two dingers in one game.
Senior Brennon Lund singled in the bottom of the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. Lund stole second to put BYU’s tying run in scoring position.
Robinson got down 0-2 but battled back and on a 3-2 count singled to right field and Lund beat the throw to the plate to tie the game at six.
“Dillon got three pitches that had to have been close,” Littlewood said. “He just did a good job of having plate awareness and waited for a good pitch to hit and he delivered.”
Michael Rucker came on in the ninth to close the door on the Utes and pick up his sixth save of the season.
The BYU win knotted the three-game series at one apiece and the two teams will meet in a May 12 rubber match in Salt Lake City to determine the Deseret First Duel winner.
BYU hosts first-place San Francisco this weekend at Larry H. Miller Field. Thursday’s game starts at 6 pm MDT and will be broadcast live on BYUtv and KOVO 960 AM.
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