BYU baseball defeats Santa Clara 3-1
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A two-run fifth inning—along with a combined four-hitter by Cougar pitching duo Jack Sterner and Bryce Robison—gave BYU baseball a 3-1 victory over Santa Clara in the final game of the WCC series on Saturday.
“This is a veteran league and there are a lot of teams that can really play,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “We got great pitching today and the guys played outstanding defense behind them. It was a hard-fought win and I’m really proud of the way we played as a team.”
Santa Clara (11-15, 4-5) got on the board early in the first inning with a leadoff double by Coleman Brigman, who later came around to score and give the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
BYU (9-15, 5-4) tied the game up in the top of the fourth with a walk and stolen base by Hunter Swapp, followed by a single up the middle from Cooper Vest to put runners on the corners. A double to rightfield by Mitch McIntyre scored Swapp and tied the game at 1-1.
After scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, Bryan Call reached on an infield error in the top of the seventh. After a Josh Cowden walk, Brock Watkins moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt to give the Cougars runners at second and third with one out. A safety squeeze down the first-base line by Peyton Cole gave the Cougars the go-ahead run. An intentional walk to Swapp loaded the bases and an infield single to second base by Vest gave the Cougars a 3-1 advantage.
A two-run cushion was more than Robison would need as he scattered just two hits over the final four innings to earn the victory for BYU.
“Sterner gave us a great start and really battled a tough Santa Clara lineup for five innings,” said Littlewood. “Robison came in and was lights out. He throws in the low 90s, but his changeup is so hard to hit. He was impressive closing out the win for us today.”
BYU returns to Miller Park next week for a three-game series with conference foe Portland, April 8-10. The Thursday and Friday games are set for 6 p.m. MDT, with the Saturday matchup at 1 p.m. MDT.
All three 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.