Ralph R. Zobell | Posted: 15 Apr 2016 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Saint Mary's wins 7-4 for second straight victory over Cougars

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MORAGA, California (April 15, 2016)—Pitching woes haunted No. 16 BYU baseball as Saint Mary’s defeated the Cougars again, this time 7-4 on Friday.

BYU starter Maverik Buffo didn’t make it out of the first inning with an ailing arm and his team trailing 2-1. The Cougars are now 26-7 overall and a game out of first place in the West Coast Conference with a 9-5 record.

Saint Mary’s, now 20-11 and 10-4, is the new occupier of first place in the WCC following its second consecutive victory over BYU in as many days.

“Saint Mary's just outplayed us today,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We made it very difficult on ourselves with five errors and a lot of two-strike mistakes in key situations.

“We came out in the first inning, hit four balls hard, got on the board and then lost the momentum by giving up a two-run home run.”

While the Cougars never regained the lead, they did close the gap to 4-3 when Colton Shaver swatted his ninth homer of the season, a two-run blast to left field in the sixth.

Again in the seventh BYU drew within one at 5-4 when Hayden Nielsen hit a two-out single to score Noah Hill.

The Cougars did have the tying run at bat in the ninth before hitting into a game-ending double play.

BYU used four pitchers, while the Gaels nearly got a complete game from lefty Johnny York who threw 123 pitches before Cameron Neff earned his first save of the season on one pitch.

“We are playing a very good team on their home field and we just need to wake up Saturday, go to work, and see if we can get out of here with a win,” Littlewood said.

Saturday’s finale will be streamed live on TheW.tv, broadcast by ESPN Radio 960 AM locally and BYU Radio—Sirius Satellite 143.