Austin Rustand | Posted: 8 Apr 2022 | Updated: 15 Apr 2022

Cougar bats erupt for 10 runs in shutout of Santa Clara

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Dawsen Hall hits the first home run of his BYU career in a 10-0 win over Santa Clara.

PROVO, Utah — BYU baseball scored early and often in a 10-0 win over Santa Clara on Friday night in front of 2,674 fans—the tenth largest crowd in Miller Park history. 

"It was an electric atmosphere at Miller Park tonight, "said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “We're so grateful to Cougar Nation for filling up the stands and providing incredible energy. We played outstanding team baseball again tonight. Our hitting was great, our defense was superb and our pitching has been so good the last two nights. Brady got us off to a great start and Robison came in and was just fantastic.”

More than half of the 54 outs in the first two games of the WCC series came on strikeouts by the BYU pitching staff, who has given up just one run on 14 hits while ringing up 29 Broncos over two nights. 

Every Cougar starter recorded at least one base hit in the win Friday night, with four recording multiple hits. Brock Watkins lead the way going 2-5 with 3 RBI in the win, while the pitching staff was equally impressive striking out 12 Broncos on the night.

BYU (15-12, 5-6) got the scoring started in the bottom of the second inning to take an early 1-0 lead. Santa Clara ace Nick Sando, who entered the game with a 1.09 ERA, walked the first two Cougars he faced in the second. Collin Reuter laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out before Sando issued his third walk of the inning to Dawson Hall to load the bases. Brock Watkins then grounded a 1-1 pitch to second base and reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Austin Deming to take the lead.

In the bottom of the third, Jacob Wilk hit the first pitch he saw over the right-field fence for his fifth home run of the season to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead. 

In the top of the fifth, Santa Clara (17-12, 6-5) threatened to score, putting runners on first and second with no one out. Littlewood went to reliever Bryce Robison who came on to record three straight outs with a ground out, a strikeout and a fly ball to get out of the jam and maintain the 2-0 lead. Cougar starter Ryan Brady pitched four scoreless innings giving up just three hits, while reliever Robison finish the final five innings striking out seven while scattering four hits for the win, his fifth of the year. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Reuter singled on a hard-hit ground ball to left field before Dawson Hall took a hanging splitter and hit into the pine trees over the right-field fence for his first home run as a Cougar, giving BYU a 4-0 lead. 

“It was great to see Dawsen get his first college home run," said Littlewood. "It came at a perfect time and really gave us a lift.”

Five more BYU runs in the seventh inning broke the game wide open. Ryan Sepede singled through the left side and Deming recorded his second RBI of the night with a triple into the right-field corner that scored Sepede. Jacob Rogers then reached on a Santa Clara error which scored Deming making it a 7-0 Cougar advantage. Reuter then drew a four-pitch walk before Watkins singled on a 3-2 count with a hard-hit ball to score Rogers and move Reuter to second. With runners on first and second, Ozzie Pratt got his second hit of the game on a single to center field to load the bases with Mitch McIntyre coming to the plate. The senior center fielder worked a 2-2 count before singling to right field to score Watkins and Reuter and extend the lead to 9-0. 

The Cougars tacked on another run in the bottom of the eighth when Watkins singled up the middle to score Deming for what would be a 10-0 game final.

The Cougars and Broncos will face off in the series finale Saturday at Noon MDT at Miller Park. The game will be broadcast live on the BYUtv app, while the radio broadcast can be heard on the BYU Sports Network—BYU Radio 107.9 FM, and BYU Cougars App.

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