Five-run inning fuels BYU rally

Braden Taylor | Posted: 26 Feb 2021 | Updated: 26 Feb 2021
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PROVO, Utah – Sophomore Mitch McIntyre and junior Abraham Valdez each drove in two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning as BYU baseball came from behind to win 7-3 over Oregon on Tuesday at Miller Field.

"It's what we've done all year long," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "Stay close, stay close, grind out at-bats and finally break it open a little bit."

Game Summary

  • The Cougars used a five-run eighth inning to take their first lead of the game after trailing 3-2
  • This marks the first time BYU has beaten Oregon since 1979 with the Cougars ending a four-game losing streak to the Ducks
  • Brock Hale’s blast over the center field fence in the fifth marked his fourth home run of the year

Player Highlights

  • Brock Hale: 2-4, HR, RBI, 2 R
  • Mitch McIntyre: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
  • Keaton Kringlen: 2-4, RBI, R
  • Abraham Valdez: 1-1, 2B, 2 RBI, R

Oregon (12-10, 2-4 Pac-12) opened up the scoring with a run scoring on a double down the left field line take the early lead over BYU (18-5, 4-2 WCC) in the second inning.

The Cougars answered in the bottom of the second when senior Keaton Kringlen sent a grounder through the gap between the first and second basemen, bringing freshman Austin Deming home to tie the score 1-1.

The Ducks scored a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to reclaim the lead. After three scoreless innings for BYU, senior Brock Hale sent a ball over the center field fence for a solo shot, his fourth home run of the season, to cut the lead to 3-2.

Still down by a run, Hale reached safely on a bang-bang play at first base on an infield single, then sophomore Jackson Cluff was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. After the second out of the inning, McIntyre stepped up in the clutch, smashing the ball to the left field fence for a double to bring in both runners and take the lead.

Kringlen followed with a bunt to reach safely, then Valdez followed by doubling to right field to score two more. Valdez finished out the inning by scoring via a single by sophomore Danny Gelalich to give BYU the lead 7-3 lead.

Freshman Reid McLaughlin improved to 4-0 after throwing the seventh and eighth innings, striking out three with no runs or hits. Freshman Ben Weese came on in the fifth, getting a key third out with two runners in scoring position before pitching a scoreless sixth.

Freshman Drew Zimmerman came in the top of the ninth inning, striking out two batters on his way to securing the win for the Cougars.

BYU returns to conference play, opening a three-game series against Saint Mary’s on Thursday, March 28, at 6 p.m. MT at Miller Field. Live coverage will be available on BYUtv Digital and the game will be broadcast on BYU Radio and ESPN 960.

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