PROVO, Utah – After winning the first two games of the series, No. 16 BYU baseball fell to San Diego 13-7 in West Coast Conference action Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars (25-5, 9-3 WCC) used a four-run sixth inning to cut the deficit to 6-5, but the Toreros (17-17, 5-7 WCC) scored seven runs over the final three innings, including a five-run seventh, to secure the outcome.
“The bottom line is we just didn’t pitch it well enough in the sixth inning through the ninth inning and didn’t make quality pitches when we had to,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “We scored seven runs. That should be enough to win.”
Pitcher Connor Williams (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season, giving up two earned runs and four walks while striking out three over five innings.
BYU narrowed the gap to 6-5 with four runs in a wild sixth inning, taking advantage of Torero miscues. With Chauncey on third and Colton Shaver on second, Keaton Kringlen beat out a throw to first after a passed ball, scoring Chauncey.
After protesting the previous play, San Diego coach Rich Hill was ejected before Urry capitalized and doubled down the left-field line, scoring Kringlen and Shaver.
A throwing error on the USD shortstop allowed Larsen to reach first before Jackson Cluff’s sacrifice fly scored Urry for the 6-5 tally at the end of the sixth.
But San Diego responded with five runs in the top of the seventh—all with two outs. The scoring burst was capped off with a three-run homer over the scoreboard for the 11-5 BYU deficit.
The Cougars made up some ground in the bottom of the seventh, making the game 11-7 in favor of the Toreros. Larsen pulled an 0-2 pitch to left field and off the wall for a two-run double, scoring Kringlen and Urry, who reached on back-to-back two-out walks.
With the four-run margin, USD scored two more in the top half of the eighth and held BYU scoreless in the final two innings for the eventual 13-7 final tally.
A couple of scoreless innings got things started until San Diego scored three in the top of the third. With the bases loaded, USD knocked in three runs with a two-out double.
After coming up scoreless in the third, BYU’s defense held off the Torero offense with a double-play to end the fourth. The Cougars got out of the frame as Noah Hill caught a low liner and turned two at second with USD up 3-0.
Chauncey led off the bottom of the fourth with a bloop single to center field. Later in the inning, Kringlen doubled at the warning track to cut the lead to 3-1 at the end of the inning after scoring Chauncey from second.
The BYU defense turned another inning-ending double-play in the top of the fifth to keep the game at 3-1.
San Diego scored three more runs in the top of the sixth. A single up the middle for two RBI along with an RBI-single earlier in the frame pushed the Torero advantage to 6-1 before the Cougars turned their third double-play of the game.
BYU faces Utah for the second time this season at Miller Park on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised on BYUtv and broadcast live on ESPN 960 AM and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143.