Gambill's walk-off double seals 8-7 comeback win over USF
PROVO, Utah — After trailing 5-0 in the second inning, BYU baseball sealed an 8-7 comeback win over San Francisco Thursday evening at Miller Park with a walk-off RBI double from Cole Gambill in the bottom of the tenth.
“That was a hard fought win by our guys,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “They battled their tails off for ten innings and I’m really proud of them. I loved Cole Gambill's at-bat in the bottom of the 10th. He didn’t try to pull the pitch, he just hit the ball hard to left-center. He took what they gave him and got us a win.”
The Cougars (8-11, 4-0) found themselves in a hole early, as San Francisco (5-15, 1-3) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the second inning fueled by a two-out, three-run homer over the centerfield wall.
Andrew Pintar got the Cougars on the board in the bottom of the third, scoring all the way from first on a pair of San Francisco errors. After leading off the inning with a walk, Pintar advanced to third on a wild pick-off attempt then immediately ran home after the throw from the outfield also went awry.
BYU tacked on another two runs in the third to come within two, 5-3. Following a Mitch McIntyre single, Josh Cowden reached first on a fielder’s choice and Gambill reached second on an error, sending Cowden to third. Jacob Wilk then reached first on another error, driving in Cowden and Gambill.
A two-run homer in the top of the fourth extended the Dons’ lead, 7-3. Peyton Cole answered with a homerun of his own to right-center in the bottom of the inning, bringing BYU within three, 7-4.
The Cougars loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of sixth, as Danny Gelalich walked, Cole singled to right-center and Pintar reached base on an error. Brock Watkins then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Gelalich. The following batter, McIntyre, reached first on a fielder’s choice and Cole scored from third to bring BYU within one, 7-6.
Down 7-6 in the eighth, BYU once again loaded the bases following walks from Watkins and McIntyre and a bunt single by Cowden. Watkins then scored on a walk from Wilk to tie the game at seven heading into the ninth.
Both teams retired the other side in order in the ninth, sending the game into extra innings. With USF runners on second and third and two outs in the top of the tenth, a Bryce Robison strikeout got the Cougars out of the jam.
With Watkins placed on second due to international tie breaker rule to start the bottom of the tenth, an intentional walk on McIntyre placed Cougars on first and second. After an out, next batter Gambill fouled off three pitches before batting to a 2-2 count. Gambill then ripped the next pitch into the gap in left-center field, sending Watkins home from second and sealing the 8-7 BYU win.
Robison got the win, retiring the final two batters in the top of the tenth in order. The Cougars went through five pitchers on the night and gave up just two hits in the final six innings.
The win gives BYU its fifth straight win and puts the Cougars atop the WCC standings with a 4-0 record early in the conference season.
- Cole: 2-4, 2 H, 1 RBI, 1 HR, 2 R
- Gambill: 1-5, 1 H, 1 RBI, 1 R
- Watkins: 4-1, 1 H, 1 RBI, 2 R
- Robison: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0R, 1K (win)
BYU remains at Miller Park this weekend for another two games versus the Dons. The two teams will play Friday, March 26, at 4 p.m. MDT and Saturday, March 27, at 1 p.m. MDT.
Both games will be broadcast live on the BYUtv App. Audio broadcasts will also be available on the BYU Sports Network—BYU Radio FM 107.9, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app. Ticket information can be found at BYUtickets.com.
- The 8-7 win is BYU’s second extra-inning win of the 2021 season. The Cougars’ other extra-inning win came against Texas State in the fourth game of the season, with BYU winning 7-6 in ten innings when Andrew Pintar scored on a sacrifice fly from Austin Deming
- The win marks BYU’s biggest come-from-behind win of the season. The previous was a 5-4 win over Texas on Feb. 27, when the Cougars scored five runs in the sixth after facing a 4-0 deficit