Cougars Defeat Bulldogs on Hale's Big Night
PROVO, Utah – Senior Brock Hale hit a key double and a towering home run to help lift BYU baseball over Gonzaga 7-4 on Friday night at Miller Field.
“They played relaxed tonight and we matched Gonzaga’s energy,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “We were into every single pitch in the dugout and it showed. When the guys on the field know everyone in the dugout is with them and supporting them it really, really helps. Tonight, everyone was on the same page.”
- Brock Hale broke a tie in the bottom of the fifth with a double that cleared the bases loaded
- Easton Walker earned his first win of the year and first since 2016 before his mission, pitching 3.2 innings with no earned runs or walks
- The Cougar bullpen did not allow an earned run for the 12th time in 17 games this season, going 8.0 innings with six hits, one walk and five strikeouts
- Brock Hale: 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI
- Easton Walker: W (1-0), 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB
- Brian Hsu: 2-3, HR, 2 R, BB, RBI
Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth, BYU (13-4) doubled its run total via a double by senior Brock Hale, clearing the bases loaded and scoring sophomore Mitch McIntyre, senior Brian Hsu and freshman Carson Matthews.
BYU tacked on another run the following inning. Sophomore Danny Gelalich hit a two-out single that dropped in right field before senior Noah Hill brought him home with a double to left field to bring the score to 7-3 over Gonzaga (7-9).
BYU fell behind early in the game at 3-1 by the end of the second inning, managing its one run on a two-out home run over the scoreboard in left field by Hale. But the Bulldogs went the next six-plus innings scoreless thanks to the combined efforts of McIntyre and sophomore Easton Walker on the mound. Walker earned the win, his first of the year, allowing zero earned runs and no walks.
Hitting in the leadoff spot for just the second time this season, Hsu hit a solo shot off the scoreboard in the bottom of the third to cut Gonzaga’s lead to a run, 3-2. Sophomore Jackson Cluff hit a one-out double in the fourth frame, advancing to third on a fly ball before tying the game on a wild pitch.
Sophomore Drew Zimmerman earned his second save of the year and seventh of his career, coming on in the ninth with one runner on, but three strikeouts from the right-hander closed out the game.
The Cougars and Bulldogs will play for a third and final time on Saturday, March 16, at 1 p.m. MT. The game will air live on TheW.tv, ESPN 960 and BYU Radio.