Cougars eliminated from WCC Baseball Tournament
STOCKTON, Calif. – A two-run LMU home run in the top of the sixth was the difference as BYU was eliminated 5-1 in the opening round of the West Coast Conference Tournament at Banner Island Ballpark on Wednesday.
"It was a tough night at the plate for us,” said BYU interim head coach Trent Pratt. “Tip your hat to LMU. Their pitching was great. They came ready to play. It stings because we are better than how we played tonight, but sometimes that’s baseball.”
After four scoreless innings to open the game, No. 5 seed LMU (20-32-1, 15-13) got on the board first in the top of the fifth with a two-out hit to shallow centerfield that scored Benny Casillas for a 1-0 lead.
The Lions tacked on two more runs in the sixth on a two-run home run over the left-field wall by Dylan Dennis for a 3-0 advantage.
BYU, the No. 4 seed, answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the sixth inning to cut the LMU lead to 3-1. Mitch McIntyre led off the inning by being hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ryan Sepede flied out to right field to advance McIntyre to third, where he scored on a single down the left field line by Cole Gambill.
LMU picked up an insurance run in the seventh inning and another in the eighth for the 5-1 victory.
Lion starter Diego Barrera (4-3) went 5.2 innings, surrendering just one run while striking out eight for the win. Owen Hackman (5) came on to pitch the final 3.1 innings for the save.
Cougar starter Jack Sterner surrendered just one run on six hits over 4.2 innings while striking out seven in the loss.
The Cougars wrapped up the 2022 season with a 33-21 overall record and were 16-12 in WCC play.