PROVO—Saint Mary’s College took advantage of nearly every mistake made by BYU baseball en route to a 14-5 victory on Thursday at Larry H. Miller Field.
The Gaels (25-24 overall and 10-15 in the West Coast Conference) behind superb pitching of left-hander Johnny York (7-4) kept BYU (23-22, 12-10) off balance all night.
The game started a half-hour late due to rain and it looked like Cougar ace Kolton Mahoney was on his game, striking out the first two batters. Then SMC scored a pair of runs for a 2-0 lead that expanded to 10-2 by the sixth inning after Mahoney (4-6) left the mound with seven strikeouts.
“We are not as bad as we played,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “This isn’t the end of the world tonight, but for me, we need to play better. Our mantra has been to play to the end, no matter what.”
While BYU’s Bronson Larsen extended his hitting streak to 18 games, teammate Brennon Lund saw his 24-game hitting streak come to an end. Among the frustrating plays of the evening was a two-run triple to deep right field in the five-run sixth by Gael catcher Nate Nolan which got lost in the lights. Nolan recorded six RBI for the night, while the No. 4 and 5 batters each went 4-for-4 as the Gaels tallied 17 hits.
“They beat us in every single aspect of the game,” Littlewood said. “We need to wake up ready to play Friday. We are still trying to find the missing piece to the puzzle with Eric Urry (broken finger) out of the lineup.”
The two teams continue their three-game series on Friday at 6 p.m., MDT, with game time changed to noon for Saturday’s finale because of rain in the forecast.