OREM, Utah — David Clawson’s towering home run highlighted a 12-hit performance Tuesday night for BYU’s baseball team in an 8-3 victory over Utah Valley University.
Clawson’s 400-foot round-tripper to right field that bounced on the freeway on-ramp put the exclamation mark on what is billed as the UCCU "Crosstown Clash!"
"I’m really happy with our club tonight," BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. "We had a lull from three through six innings, but overall I’m happy with our approach. We had a lot of energy we brought into the game and put together good at-bats."
First baseman Tanner Chauncey combined with Clawson for half of the Cougar hits against the Wolverines. Chauncey started his 4-for-4 night by extending his current hitting streak to nine games, singling up the middle to score Brennon Anderson who led off with a single and advanced on a stolen base and an error. Chauncey scored the Cougars’ second run in the first inning from Daniel Schneemann’s sacrifice fly.
Colton Shaver singled off the first offering in the second inning, then scrambled to third base on Kyle Dean’s single. The duo was driven home from Clawson’s game-winning RBI on a 2-0 count for a 5-0 lead.
"He (Clawson) has such quick, lightning hands," Littlewood said. "He is a special player. He’s going to be dangerous; he has all the tools to make it to the next level. You watch him at times you’d think he’s a junior or a senior, but he’s a freshman."
Clawson was on the receiving end of one of the night’s several defensive gems when Bronson Larsen threw out Zac Willis from left field at the plate in the fourth inning.
"Bronson (Larsen) blocked the ball like a catcher in left field and he has a cannon," Littlewood said.
"Keaton (Kringlen) seems like he has Velcro in his glove. Kyle (Dean) ran a ball down in centerfield. We really played catch tonight. We really trust our infield, too. We had five guys who were high school shortstops playing infield for us tonight."
That defense played out well along with BYU’s bats to help starting pitcher Jordan Wood improve his record to 2-0 through five and a third innings before he was replaced by a trio of Cougar relievers.
BYU countered UVU’s three runs in the bottom of the sixth with Kringlen tripling to right field to lead off the seventh and scoring when Larsen’s single ricocheted off the third baseman for a 7-3 lead.
The Cougars (18-12 overall) won their season-high fourth-consecutive game as they ready for Thursday’s start of a three-game series holding onto first place in the West Coast Conference with a 7-2 record. Utah Valley (11-20) hosts BYU on May 2 in the second of the three-game series between the rivals.