RENO, Nev.—Host Nevada fended off BYU baseball multiple times Friday and emerged with a 5-4 victory.
The Wolf Pack (14-11) reversed the outcome of the previous day as BYU (11-10) fell behind 3-0 through four innings. The Cougars took a brief 4-3 lead in the fifth, but Nevada rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of that inning.
Ryan Teel’s triple was the big blow in the fifth for Nevada, scoring teammate Jamison Row with no outs and then scoring himself on a one-out grounder to second for that 5-4 advantage.
The Cougars rallied for four runs in the fifth when Tanner Chauncey and Wes Guenther led off that inning with a single and double, respectively. Chauncey and Guenther scored on Brock Whitney’s single. Austin Hall singled and then Whitney scored on Jaycob Brugman’s sacrifice fly. Nevada changed pitchers and Hall ended up scoring on Christian Mua’s single to take a 4-3 lead.
“When we score four runs, we’ve got to get them to put up a zero in their next at bat, but we didn’t,” BYU coach Vance Law said. “We gifted them some runs with eight walks and two hit batters. When we give away 10 free bases, we are lucky to get away with them only scoring five runs.”
BYU had chances to score in its last three innings, but came up empty. In the seventh, the Nevada center fielder cut off Mua’s double and got the throw in quickly to prevent pinch runner Zane Affleck from leaving third. In the eighth, Chauncey was blocked at the plat as he tried to score off an accurate throw from left field. And in the ninth, BYU grounded into the game-ending out with two aboard.
“Our guys continued to compete and we gave ourselves chances to win, but couldn’t quite do it,” Law said.
BYU’s last two relievers pitched the Cougars out of jams in the seventh and eighth innings. BYU lefty Daniel Welch picked off a Wolf Pack runner in the seventh and Marc Oslund helped retire the final two batters of the eighth with runners aboard.
Saturday afternoon’s rubber match ends the three-game series.