Duff Tittle | Posted: 15 Apr 2021 | Updated: 26 Apr 2021

Cougars drop game one to Omaha

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2021 Easton Walker Portland

OMAHA, Nebraska — BYU baseball fell to Omaha, 2-1, in the series opener at Tal Anderson Field on Thursday night.

The game featured a starting pitcher’s duel between Cougar senior Easton Walker, who struck out 10 and surrendered just four hits over five innings, and Mavericks junior Joey Machado who went eight allowing six hits.

“We got great pitching and played solid defense on the infield, but the lack of timely hitting really hurt us tonight,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “Tip your hat to Omaha, they were able to string together a couple of hits in the third inning and did what they needed to do to win the game tonight.”

Omaha scored its only runs of the game in the third inning when the Mustangs strung together four singles to score two runs and take a 2-0 lead.

BYU had opportunities for runs in both the first and fourth innings but were unable to get timely hits with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Walker held the Mavericks hitless in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings.

The Cougars finally got on the board in the eighth with an infield single by Andrew Pintar that scored Peyton Cole, who had singled earlier in the inning. Mitch McIntyre, who had reached on an error, advanced to third and Pintar advanced to second on a wild pitch but were stranded there when Machado struck out Joshua Cowden to end the threat.

BYU had a chance to tie the game again in the top of the ninth when Cole Gambill doubled to open the inning and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Hayden Leatham. With the tying run 90-feet away, Maverick reliever Tanner Howe got Bryan Call to strikeout swinging and was able to just get Brock Watkins out at first on an attempted bunt for a base hit.

BYU will be back in action at Tal Anderson Field on Friday at 6 p.m. CT, to face the Mavericks in game two of the three-game series. The contest will be broadcast live on NET Sports. Larry Punteney will have the call with Jeff Leise providing color commentary. Links to live stats are available on OMavs.com.

The BYU Sports Network—BYU Radio FM 107.9, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app—will also have the game live with Jason Shepherd and Tuckett Slade on the call. 

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