Omaha downs BYU with a ninth inning walk-off single
OMAHA, Nebraska — BYU lost a hard-fought game in the ninth inning on a two-out single to right field that gave Omaha a 6-5 victory at Tal Anderson Field Friday night.
“I loved our effort to fight back when we got behind, but once again it came down to doing the little things that win ball games,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “We had our chances, but the errors and inability to take advantage of some scoring opportunities hurt us tonight.”
BYU (11-19, 6-6) scored first in the bottom of the second inning. Joshua Cowden and Cole Gambill got the inning going with back-to-back walks. Hayden Leatham later singled to score Cowden as the Cougars took a 1-0 lead.
Omaha (14-16, 7-5) answered with two runs in the top of the third on one hit and a BYU error to take the lead 2-1. The Mavericks tacked on one more run in the fourth and two in the sixth to extend its lead to 5-1.
The Cougars threatened in the seventh inning with three walks to load the bases but were unable to deliver a timely hit to drive in a run.
Refusing to quit, BYU exploded for a big inning in the top of the eighth that started with a leadoff home run down the rightfield line by Cowden. Jacob Wilk then doubled to left center and scored on a Leatham single up the middle. Abraham Valdez drew a walk and Freddie Achecar drove Leatham home with a pinch-hit single to right. Mitch McIntyre then doubled down the right field line to score Valdez and tie game at 5-5. With runners on the corners Omaha turned to senior reliever Josiah Scott who retired the last two Cougars to end the threat.
BYU had another chance in the ninth as Gambill drew a walk to lead off the inning and took second on a wild pitch, but Scott worked out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts sandwiched around an infield popup to keep the score at 5-5.
An error in the bottom of the ninth, combined with a wild pitch, put the Maverick in scoring position and a single with two outs gave Omaha the 6-5 victory.
“It was a tough loss, but we’ll see what we are made of tomorrow,” said Littlewood. “We have a short turn around and we’ll be back at it at noon.”
Game three of the series is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. CT and will be broadcast online via Mavs All-Access. 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.