PROVO —Despite an early lead, the BYU baseball team lost its second consecutive game 7-5 to New Mexico Friday night at Larry H.. Miller Field.
The loss pushed the Cougars' record to 19-16, 6-7 in Mountain West Conference play, while the Lobos improve to 12-27 and 7-7 in league play.
"We're not accustomed to giving up a lead like that," BYU head coach Vance Law said. "I think there are a lot of areas we need to work on to be the team we want to be. The thing about baseball is it's so much less predictable than any other sport. If you get a guy who's pitching well, it's anybody's game. I think we're a better offensive team than we're showing right now."
Among the few positives for the Cougars were esignated hitter Alex Wolfe with two RBI and pitcher Chris Capper recorded eight strikeouts.
For the Lobos, first baseman DJ Peterson and shortstop Alex Allbritton each had two RBI. Jake McCasland pitched seven strikeouts and Gera Sanchez pitched four.
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when left fielder Ryan Bernal and center fielder Wes Guenther hit back-to-back doubles. Shortstop Wolfe followed up with a home run to bring in Guenther for a 3-0 BYU lead. Second baseman Dane Nielsen batted in Austin Hall to end scoring for the inning.
New Mexico answered with three consecutive runs at the top of the fifth scored by right fielder Trey Porras on a single from center fielder Sam Wilson, third baseman Quay Grant on a second base throwing error and Wilson on a sacrifice fly from Luke Campbell.
At the bottom of the seventh, Nielsen ran home on an error by New Mexico's Grant. A BYU strikeout ended the inning.
Starting off the eighth, Lobo Peterson smashed the ball over the left field fence, closing the BYU lead to 5-4. The Lobos proceeded to take a 6-5 lead after a shortstop error sent Grant to second and Allbritton doubled to left center, sending home Grant and John Twichell.
Catcher Mitch Garver ran home at the top of the ninth, putting the Lobos ahead 7-5.
The Cougars and Lobos play the last game of the three-game series Saturday.
SLCC 0, 7; CSI 1, 4: At Salt Lake City, The No. 1-ranked SLCC Bruin baseball team split day one against Southern Idaho, losing game one 1-0 and rallying to take game two 7-4. The Bruins are 41-5 overall and 26-4 in conference play. Adam Gunn threw six innings allowing three hits with three strikeouts but an unearned run in the 5th inning lead to the Salt Lake defeat. Dominique Taylor was 2 for 3 with a double in the loss. Down 3-2 in the 8th inning the Bruins exploded to score five runs and take the 7-4 win. Mitch Manning drove home the go ahead runs with a two RBI triple while Eddy Alverez knocked a double with three RBIs. Sean Moysh was 2 for 4 and Braden Anderson was 2 for 4. Tyson Memmott went six strong innings allowing only one earned run. The Bruins face off with Southern Idaho again tomorrow in Twin Falls, Idaho with the double header starting at noon.
DIXIE 6, 4: GRAND CANYON 1, 4: At St. George,Dixie State College earned at least a share of the Pacific West Conference baseball title with a 6-1 victory in the final game of a set with Grand Canyon University at Bruce Hurst Field. The Antelopes prevailed in Friday's early game 7-4 in 12 innings. The Red Storm improved to 22-10 in the PWC (27-14 overall), clinching the league's best win total. Hawaii Pacific sits at 14-10 with eight conference games remaining. GCU completed their league run at 16-16 with a 21-23 overall mark. Jordon Blanchard saved a weary pitching staff tossing a complete game in the DSC victory. His effort for a shutout was thwarted by a two-out solo home run by Kalab Evans. Blanchard struck out five in his most dominating effort of the year. Tyson Littlewood and Trevor Goff led the offensive charge in support of their pitcher. In the first inning, Littlewood blasted a two-run home run off the scoreboard. He finished the game 2-for-4. Goff paced all Red Storm hitters with three hits including a bunt single in the fourth. A triple from Tony Nelson leading off the third inning and a two-run double by Joe Andrade in the fourth capped off three extra-base hits. Coltin White suffered the loss for GCU (6-4). Friday's first game saw a combined 11 runs, 34 hits, six errors and 40 left on base. The last stat ranks second all-time for combined left on base for both teams, according to the 2011 NCAA Division-II Record Book (the record is 41 set in 2001). A sacrifice fly from Colin Courtland in the 12th inning opened the floodgates. Two addition runs were all that Courtland needed to nail down a win in relief. DSC's Bryce Anderson took the loss allowing all three GCU runs in the fateful frame. Littlewood and Ammon Zitting each had three hits. Defense proved to be a shining point for the Red Storm. Colton Yack and Zitting each turned highlight-worthy double plays keeping GCU off the scoreboard. The 'Lopes knocked 20 hits in their victory — four came from R.J. Etchebarren. With conference play over, Dixie State prepares for a short road trip to Grand Junction, Colo. to face Mesa State College on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
UVU 9, 5: CHICAGO STATE 8, 6: At Orem, Utah Valley erased an early deficit to earn a come-from-behind 9-8 win in the opening game of a Saturday doubleheader over Chicago State. CSU then scored a 6-5 win in the nightcap to earn a split in Great West Conference baseball action at Brent Brown Ballpark. In the Wolverine win, Kai Hatch was 4-for-4 and Goose Kallunki had two hits — including a three-run home run — and four RBI. Hatch finished with seven hits during the twin bill, scoring twice in the opener and driving in a pair of runs in the second game. After falling behind 7-0 just an inning and a half into the first game, Utah Valley got back into it with a six-run third. The Wolverines (14-18, 6-1) had six straight hits to start inning, including the towering, three-run home run to left by Kallunki. UVU took the lead in the fourth after Kirk Doxey delivered a clutch two-out, two-run single to center to make it 8-7. The Wolverines added an important insurance run in the fifth when Kallunki singled home Chris Benson with a two-out base hit to left.
That run turned out to be the difference in the game when Chicago State scored a run in the seventh and had the tying run at second before Preston Olson, who improved to 3-0 with the win, got Jack Bobillo to line out to Kallunki at third to end the game. Olson pitched 5 2/3 innings in relief, allowing just one run on five hits. Kallunki, Doxey and Benson each had two hits in the first game while Tony Sanchez drove in four runs with two doubles for the Cougars. In the second game, Utah Valley took an early 1-0 lead in the second on a base hit by Hatch that scored Austin Heaps. Hatch and Heaps both went 3-for-4 in the second game.5 comments on this story
The Cougars scored four times in the fourth inning — three on a home run by Bobillo — and then one time in the fifth to jump ahead 5-1. Utah Valley would get two back in the sixth; Kallunki drove in one run on a sac-fly and Hatch singled home Heaps, but the Wolverines would strand the tying run in scoring position. The Wolverines trailed 6-3 entering the ninth and got a base hit from Hatch and a triple to center by Doxey before Austin Haws made it 6-5 with a sac-fly. Jonathan Carpen made a diving catch in right on a fly ball off the bat of Benson to end the game. Gregory Day threw 143 pitches in earning the complete-game win for Chicago State, improving his record to 2-3. The loss ended a 16-game Great West regular-season winning streak for Utah Valley. The series concludes on Saturday with a noon first pitch. Utah Valley hosts Utah on Tuesday, April 26 before a four-game Great West series against NYIT starting April 28.