Sterner, Smith blank Tigers in BYU win
STOCKTON, Calif. — Seven innings of shutout baseball by starting pitcher Jack Sterner, combined with a leadoff home run in the second inning by Cole Gambill, proved to be the winning combination as BYU defeated Pacific 5-0 in game two of the three-game WCC series on Friday.
"Jack was great tonight," said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. "He really had good command of all four pitches—slider, changeup, fastball and spike curveball—tonight, which makes him almost unhittable. I thought Carter Smith came in and pitched real well the last two innings to close it out."
Sterner went seven innings allowing just two of the 22 Tigers he faced to reach base. The Cougar sophomore from Laguna Niguel, California threw 82 pitches in what proved to be his longest outing of the year.
“I felt really comfortable on the mound tonight,” said Sterner. “I had all my pitches working, which helped me get ahead in the count and keep the pitch count down. Cole’s long ball gave us an early lead which allowed me to pitch ahead.”
After a three-up, three-down first inning by both teams, Gambill led off the bottom of the second with a blast over the centerfield wall to give BYU an early 1-0 lead. The home run was his ninth of the year and gives the junior 33 RBI on the year.
BYU added a run in the seventh on a Freddy Achecar single through the left side of the infield that scored Gambill, who had reached on a single and stole second base. The Cougars tacked on another run in the eighth inning with a bases loaded walk by Joshua Cowden to score Brock Watkins and extend the lead to 3-0.
Walks by Achecar and Mitch McIntyre, combined with two Pacific errors and a single by Bryan Call, gave BYU two more runs in the top of the ninth and pushed the final score to 5-0.
The Cougars (20-25, 12-11 WCC) will face the Tigers (15-29, 5-15 WCC) in the third and final game of the series at Klein Family Field on Saturday at 12 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on the WCC Network. The audio broadcasts will air on the BYU Sports Network: BYU Radio FM 107.9 FM, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app.
Photos by Samantha Toy | Pacific