SAN FRANCISCO (May 14, 2016)—A 9-3 victory over the University of San Francisco on Saturday afternoon put BYU baseball back in first place contention in the West Coast Conference.
The Cougars, now 34-14 overall and 15-9 in the WCC, took the series and eliminated the Dons from qualifying for the conference tournament.
San Francisco concludes its league play with a 14-13 record and takes a 20-33 into the final week of the regular season.
“Today our guys showed everyone what they're made of,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “Hayden (Rogers) went down with an injury early and every guy picked him up.”
Rogers left in the first inning with back spasms and was replaced by Connor Williams, the first of three BYU relievers.
“Connor's ability to get us out of that first inning jam was huge and the team fed off that energy,” Littlewood said.
Williams struck out his first two batters to end the first inning before being replaced by freshman Bo Burrup in the fourth frame. Keaton Cenatiempo (2-1) threw the final five innings to earn the victory.
The Cougars took a 3-0 lead in the second inning thanks to four walks, but San Francisco chipped away with a run in the third, fourth and fifth innings to tie the game.
The stalemate continued until the six-run eighth inning when BYU batted around, spraying six singles to take its 9-3 lead. All BYU starters either scored a run or recorded a hit in the game, with Brennon Lund and Bronson Larsen each accounting for a pair of the nine Cougar RBI.
“This was a total team win, and I couldn't be more proud of our effort this weekend,” Littlewood said.
The BYU defense was highlighted in the sixth inning when Larsen pegged USF’s leading base-stealer at second for out No. 1 and second baseman Brennon Anderson fielded a gem to close that frame.
The Cougars return to WCC play when they host Santa Clara next week after a non-conference game Tuesday at Utah in Salt Lake City.