PROVO — Six runs in the final two innings were too little, too late as the BYU baseball team fell 12-6 to No. 7-ranked TCU on Thursday evening at Larry H. Miller Field.
"I think we faced a big-league pitcher tonight," said BYU head coach Vance Law of TCU pitcher Kyle Winkler. "He is a very good pitcher, and bouncing back in the last two innings was big for us."
Jaycob Brugman, a freshman from Phoenix, extended his Cougar-best hitting streak to three games and, in the process, brought to his team-leading RBI total to 28.
In his 11th appearance of the season, sophomore Taylor Cole started strong, holding TCU hitless through the first three innings. However, the Cougars were only able to manage one hit during that stretch, as Winkler, the Horned Frogss right-hander, struck out six of the first nine Cougars he faced. In all, Winkler struck out 13 and walked one in 7 innings of work for the Horned Frogs.
TCU (30-13, 13-2 MWC) drew first blood in the top of the fourth, posting two runs on three hits to take the first lead.
BYU (20-19, 7-8 MWC) threatened in the bottom half of the fourth after a double by designated hitter Ryan Bernal put two runners in scoring position. The Cougars were unable to capitalize, however, and surrendered six runs in the top of the fifth to go down 8-0.
Bernal, who leads the Cougars in hitting, went 2-for-5 and added his 20th RBI of the season.
Despite giving up four more runs in the sixth, the Cougars would not go quietly. RBI singles by Brugman and Bernal put BYU on the board and made the score 12-2, and third baseman Dillon Robinson gave the Cougars two more runs with a two-out, two-RBI double off the wall. A TCU error allowed one more run to cross and make the score 12-5 after eight innings.
In his 13th appearance, senior reliever Jared Miller struck out the side in the top of the ninth before BYU added one run in the bottom of the ninth.
Game 2 of the three-game series starts today at 6 p.m. at Larry H. Miller Field. Sophomore Chris Capper (3-2, 3.65) is projected to start on the mound for the Cougars.
UTAH VALLEY 18, NYIT 0: At Orem, Jeremy Gendlek extended his scoreless innings streak to 24 as Utah Valley rolled to an easy seven-inning win in the opener of a four-game Great West Conference series against NYIT at Brent Brown Ballpark.
It's Gendlek's second complete-game shutout of the year, the sixth for the Wolverines (16-19, 8-1) overall and the team's fourth shutout in the last five Gendlek starts.
"That was a complete game, a complete team-effort," said UVU head coach Eric Madsen. "It was awesome to see him (Gendlek) keep that streak and we made a couple of great defensive plays to help enable that. Offensively, I was really pleased with the adjustments we made. We're swinging the bat better."
UVU had 21 hits, with four apiece from Chris Benson and Kai Hatch. Both players were 4-for-5, with Benson driving in four runs and Hatch finishing with three RBIs. Hatch extended his torrid streak to 18 hits in his last 24 at-bats — a .750 average over the last six games.
Alex Exon homered and drove in three for the Wolverines, while Jason Zundel added three hits. Goose Kallunki and Austin Heaps each had two RBIs.
Gendlek, now 4-3 overall, is 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 23 innings during Great West play.
The series will continue today, with the two teams scheduled to play a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.
WESTERN ILLINOIS 15, S. UTAH 5: At Cedar City, Southern Utah couldn't keep up with the Western Illinois lineup as the visiting Leathernecks put up runs early and often to take the series opener.
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Redshirt-sophomore Andy Harvey (0-3) got the start for SUU but only lasted five innings, and he had a tough day on the mound — in addition to surrendering 11 runs on 13 hits, the right-hander also hit six batters and walked three more.
Taggart Lunceford had an RBI single, David Ricker and Bo Cuthbertson each had sacrifice flies, and Mitchell Kauweloa hit a two-run double.
Southern Utah is now 5-8 in the Summit League. SUU and Western Illinois meet again today in a doubleheader beginning at noon.