Cougars fall 7-6 in game three with Portland
PROVO, Utah — BYU baseball fell 7-6 in a back-and-forth battle with Portland Saturday afternoon at Miller Park, dropping the three-game series with the Pilots 2-1.
“It’s frustrating to lose a hard-fought game like that,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “There were just a few plays where we backed ourselves into a corner. At this point we need to focus on getting better and maintain our goal of winning every series from here on out.”
BYU (10-17, 6-6) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second with a two-run RBI double from Hayden Leatham. Austin Deming and Cooper Vest each singled to start the inning before advancing on a Brock Watkins sac bunt. Abraham Valdez then drew a walk to load the bases. With one out and a full count, Leatham drilled a pitch high in the zone to left-center field to drive in Deming and Vest.
Portland (16-14, 8-4) answered in the top of the third frame with a three-run homer over the centerfield wall that gave the Pilots a 3-2 lead.
The Cougars took back the lead in the bottom of the third off a Watkins three-run RBI double down the left field line. Jacob Wilk, Deming and Vest each drew walks before Watkins ripped a pitch inside the zone that just stayed fair, clearing the bases and giving BYU a 5-3 advantage.
In the top of the fourth, Portland tied the game at five after scoring runs on a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice.
The Cougars retook the lead in the seventh, 6-5, as Mitch McIntyre sent Cole Gambill home from third on an RBI single through the right side. Gambill had reached base on a single up the middle and advanced to second on an Andrew Pintar single to left. He later advanced to third on a wild throw from the Pilots’ catcher before scoring on McIntyre’s single.
The Pilots tied the game at six in the top of the eighth on a sac fly. Portland threatened to take the lead off a single to right, but Gambill’s throw home from the outfield was on time and Valdez tagged out the Pilots’ Briley Knight at the plate.
A Portland RBI single up the middle gave the Pilots a 7-6 lead in the top of the ninth.
BYU threatened in the bottom of the ninth with runners on first and second but couldn’t capitalize, ultimately falling 7-6.
- Leatham: 2-4, 2RBI, 2B
- Watkins: 1-3, 3RBI, 2B
- McIntyre: 1-3, RBI, 2BB
- Pintar: 2-5, 2B
The Cougars will face in-state rival Utah at Miller Park on Tuesday, April 13, at 6 p.m. MDT before traveling to take on Omaha in a three-game series next Thursday-Saturday, April 15-17.
The Utah game will be broadcast live on the BYUtv App as well as online at BYUtv.org. The BYU Sports Network—BYU Radio FM 107.9, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app—will have the live radio broadcast of all four games.