BYU loses tough pitching battle to Gonzaga
SPOKANE, Wash. — BYU lost a hard-fought pitching battle, 2-1, in game two of a three-game series at Gonzaga on Thursday at Patterson Baseball Complex.
The game turned out to be a pitcher’s duel between Gonzaga starter Gabriel Hughes, who went 6.1 innings for the win, and five BYU hurlers including Cougar starter Jack Sterner who went four innings striking out two and giving up just one earned run in the tough loss.
“I feel like the guys gave their full effort and left everything on the field tonight,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “I was proud of the effort and our pitchers did a great job holding them to just one run to give us a chance.”
Gonzaga (25-13, 13-4) got off to an early lead in the second inning with a double and a one-out sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs tacked on a second run in the bottom of the third with one hit and a Cougar error that allowed the second run of the game to score.
BYU (12-22, 6-8) got on the board in the top of the fourth inning with a lead-off home run by Cole Gambill to left center to bring the Cougars to within a run at 2-1. The blast was Gambill’s fourth home run and 17th RBI of the year.
The Cougars had opportunities to tie or take the lead with runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings but were unable to deliver a timely hit to drive in a run.
Meanwhile, a combination of BYU relievers that included Cooper McKeehan, Ayden Callahan, Cy Nielson and Bryce Robison, held the Bulldogs scoreless over the final four innings to give the Cougars a chance against a Zags team who is seventh in the nation in hits. The Cougars have played 14 one-run games in 2021 with six wins and eight losses.
BYU and Gonzaga will play the final game of series at Patterson Baseball Complex on Saturday at 6 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast live on the WCC Network, as well as the BYU Sports Network on BYU Radio FM 107.7, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app.