Duff Tittle | Posted: 9 Apr 2022 | Updated: 20 Apr 2022

BYU defeats Santa Clara 9-5 to sweep WCC series

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BYU Ozzie Pratt vs Santa Clara

PROVO, Utah – BYU defeated Santa Clara 9-5 Saturday afternoon to sweep the West Coast Conference series in front of 2,167 fans at Miller Park. 

“We got down a couple of runs early and had to find a different way to win tonight,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “I thought we had great at bats and our pitching staff kept Santa Clara from scoring in key moments. Our pitching was outstanding this weekend. We played three solid games and that’s what it takes to beat good teams.”

Santa Clara (17-13, 6-6) scored first in the top of the second inning with a lead-off home run, a single and a double for a quick 2-0 lead. 

BYU (17-12, 6-6) responded with a run in the third inning to cut the Bronco led to 2-1. With two outs and no one on, Ozzie Pratt singled to left field and scored on a double to centerfield by Mitch McIntyre. 

Santa Clara picked up another run in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Bronco designated hitter Efrain Mazano for a 3-1 lead, but the Cougars responded with two runs of their own to tie the game at 3-3. Following an Austin Deming one-out single to centerfield, Josh Cowden homered over the right-field wall to even the score. 

The Cougars took a two-run lead in the bottom of the fifth on a hit, two walks, a balk and a Bronco throwing error. Brock Watkins doubled to lead off the inning, Pratt then walked and McIntryre reached on a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners. Watkins scored on a balk by Bronco reliever Skyler Hales. Ryan Sepede reached on a fielder's choice, while McIntyre advanced to third and scored on throwing error for a 5-3 lead. 

BYU scored again in the sixth on a double by Collin Reuter down the left-field line and a single by Pratt that scored his high school teammate, Reuter, for a 6-3 advantage. 

After a scoreless seventh inning, the Broncos scratched out a run in the top of the eighth with a hit batter and a pair of singles to cut the Cougar lead to 6-4. BYU picked up three insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning on two walks and infield error and a bases loaded single by Ryan Sepede for a 9-4 advantage. 

Santa Clara picked up one run in the ninth for a final score of 9-5. The 3-0 series sweep is the Cougars’ second of the year having swept Arizona State in the three-game series Feb. 24-26 in Phoenix. 

Player Highlights
  •  Ozzie Pratt: 3-4, 2 Runs, RBI
  •  Austin Deming: 3-4, Run
  •  Brock Watkins 2-5, Run
  •  Cy Nileson: 2 innings, 2 hits, 2 Ks, 0 Runs

BYU lefty reliever Cy Nielson (1-0) got the win, while starting pitcher Jared Feikes took the loss for Santa Clara. Over the three-game series, the Cougar pitching staff recorded 37 strikeouts and held the Broncos to just six runs. BYU improved to 14-0 on the year when scoring at least six runs.

The Cougars are back in action April 14-16 in a four-game series at Nebraska of the Big Ten. All four games will be broadcast live on the BYU Sports Network—BYU Radio 107.9 FM, BYUcougars.com and BYU Cougars App.