Hall's Big Day Sparks Cougars
ALBUQUERQUE – Jaren Hall had three hits, including a grand slam, as BYU baseball defeated New Mexico 18-9 in game two of a doubleheader on Friday.
The Cougars (6-5) bounced back for the big win after the Lobos (7-3) took game one, 4-0, earlier in the day.
"I was really proud of the guys tonight for staying with it after a tough loss in game one" BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "Every guy stayed engaged, we had much better at bats, and we pieced together a pretty good pitching performance in game two."
Game 2 Summary
- BYU scored two or more runs in six different innings, including the first four
- The Cougars' 18 runs, 17 hits and nine walks were all season highs
- Jaren Hall hit a grand slam in the sixth, the first of his career, as part of a three-hit night
Game 2 Player Highlights
- Jaren Hall: 3-5, GS, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 RBI
- Mitch McIntyre: 1-3, SB, HBP, 4 RBI
- Andrew Pintar: 4-6, 4 R, RBI
- Hayden Leatham: 2-5, 3B, R, BB, 2 RBI
BYU had its best offensive game of the season, scoring 18 runs on 17 hits. Every Cougar starter had at least one hit except catcher Abraham Valdez who was hit in the head during his first at bat and had to leave the game.
The highlight of the onslaught was a grand slam in the sixth by sophomore outfielder Jaren Hall, who hit a shot to left field for his first-career grand slam and second home run. Starting in the lead-off spot for the first time, Hall totaled three hits, two walks, four runs and five RBIs.
Andrew Pintar added four hits and four runs while Cutter Clawson had two hits, two runs and two walks. Mitch McIntyre brought in four runs while Brock Watkins and Hayden Leatham also had two hits apiece.
The Cougars struck quickly to start the game, scoring three in the first inning on a sac fly by McIntyre, a triple by Leatham and a ground out by Joshua Cowden.
New Mexico countered with three runs as well in the bottom of the first, but the tie would be short-lived. Another McIntyre sac scored Hall and an RBI-single from Leatham brought in Hobbs Nyberg in the second inning.
A sac fly from Taylor Cole in the third made it 6-3 before McIntyre singled through the right gap to push the score to 8-3. BYU scored two more in the fourth on an RBI-triple by Watkins and an RBI-single from Hall.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases to set up Hall's homer in the sixth. Nyberg and McIntyre each drew a hit by pitch and Leatham a walk to again load the bases, with a Cowden single adding another run to give BYU a 16-3 lead.
RBI-singles by Pintar and Cole rounded out the scoring for the Cougars in the ninth.
Freshman Tyson Heaton improved to 2-0 on the year, striking out six with two hits allowed in 3.2 innings.
The win snapped a five-game win streak in the series by New Mexico, giving BYU its first win over the Lobos since 2011 when both teams were in the Mountain West Conference.
Game 1 Summary
- The Lobos scored two quick runs in the first and tacked on two more late in the game
- BYU had six hits - one for extra bases - and no walks
Game 1 Player Highlights
- Jaren Hall: 2-3, 2B, HBP
- Hayden Leatham: 1-3, HBP
- Carter Smith: 2.2 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 K
The Cougars couldn't string together enough offense to rally in the first game of the day, falling behind early and losing, 4-0.
Down 2-0, Hall hit a double in the fifth and advanced to third on a wild pitch with no outs, but the next three Cougars resulted in three outs to end the threat.
After the Lobos tacked on another run, Leatham and Hall hit singles to put two on for BYU in the top of the seventh. But two outfield flies again ended the inning without a run scored.
Cy Nielson took the loss, striking out five in 5.1 innings with three earned runs. Carter Smith pitched the final 2.2 for BYU, finishing with three strikeouts.