Cougars fall to Oregon State on walk-off single
CORVALLIS, Oregon — BYU dropped another close game Saturday, as a one-out RBI single to left field by Jacob Melton in the bottom of the ninth gave No. 20 Oregon State a 4-3 victory in the final game of a three-game series.
"I’m really pleased with the way we competed this week," said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. "We put ourselves in position to win every game in Corvallis. Each game came down to one or two plays, or a key base hit. Oregon State is a good team and very confident at home. They did what they had to do to win each game."
BYU (3-8) scored first in the top of the fourth inning to take an early 1-0 lead over OSU (10-1). With one out, Hayden Leatham drew a walk and Peyton Cole doubled to center field to score Leatham from first.
The Beavers took the lead in the bottom half of the fifth, stringing together two singles and a double to score two runs to go ahead 2-1.
After a scoreless sixth inning, BYU recaptured the lead in the top of the seventh with two runs of its own. Mitch McIntyre singled up the middle to start off the inning. Ahead in the count 3-1, Josh Cowden homered to right field to give BYU a 3-2 lead. The homer was the first of Cowden’s BYU career.
OSU responded in the bottom half of the sixth with a run to tie the score at 3-3.
The game remained tied through the seventh and eighth innings as neither team was able to score. The Cougars had a chance in the eighth with two runners aboard but were unable to capitalize. Melton’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth gave OSU its second come-from-behind victory of the series.
Despite dropping three games in Corvallis, BYU gave nationally ranked OSU a battle in each outing, surrendering just nine earned runs in three games to a Beaver team that entered the series averaging nearly eight runs per game.
"It’s been a grind these first three weeks on the road, but I truly feel like we are got a lot better in that time," said Littlewood. "Now it’s time to learn how to win close games and shut the door when we have opportunities, but I like where we are as a team."
• McIntrye: 2-5, 1 run
• Cowden: 1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI
• Peyton Cole: 1-3, 1 RBI
• Jack Sterner: 4.2 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 6 K
The Cougars return home for a three-game series with rival Utah on March 11-13. The Thursday and Friday games are scheduled to be played at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City at 6:00 p.m. MT, with the final game on Saturday at Miller Park in Provo at 3:00 p.m. MT.
All three games will be broadcast live on the BYU Sports Network — BYU Radio 107.9 FM, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app. Saturday’s game will also be broadcast live from Miller Park on the BYUtv App.