PROVO — Dane Nielsen's two-RBI double in the bottom of the ninth wasn't enough as the BYU baseball team (20-20, 7-9) fell to No. 7 TCU 6-4 amid snow flurries at Larry H. Miller Field Friday.
"We need to put pressure on early in the game because they have a quality pitching staff," said BYU head coach Vance Law. "We hit a lot of balls hard and they made some good plays."
Down 6-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Cougars loaded the bases for Nielsen, who laced an RBI double to the right-center gap to make the score 6-4. However, BYU was unable to complete the comeback for the second consecutive night.
Freshman Jaycob Brugman and Stephen Wells were the only Cougars to record multiple hits, combining for four hits and an RBI.
Making his 11th start of the season, BYU sophomore Chris Capper struck out five and walked three in seven innings of work.
Two Cougar errors and a wild pitch in the top of the second set the table for two TCU hits to give the Horned Frogs an early 2-0 lead.
Catcher Wes Guenther's single in the bottom of the first was the Cougars' first of the game and after third baseman Bret Lopez walked, Kelton Caldwell lined out to center field to end the threat.
After TCU added another run in the top of the second, Capper struck out TCU's Jason Coats and Guenther threw out a Horned Frog attempting to steal second. Capper proceeded to retire seven-consecutive Horned Frogs in the fourth and fifth innings, striking out four of the seven batters he faced during that period.
A two-run homer and an RBI single in the top of the sixth extended TCU's lead to 6-0 advantage.
BYU got on the board in the sixth after Stephen Wells singled and stole second base and scored on a Brugman groundout, making the score 6-1.
Freshman Desmond Poulson relieved Capper in the seventh and gave up only two hits and one run, striking out four and giving up no earned runs.
The final game of the series is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Larry H. Miller Field.
UTAH 13, 19; AIR FORCE 10, 10: At Colorado Springs, The Utah baseball team won a pair of high-scoring affairs at Air Force on Friday afternoon, 13-10 and 19-10. The first game was a continuation of the March 27 game that was halted after seven innings due to travel plans.
The first game of the day resumed in the eighth inning with Utah leading 9-4. After reliever Kesley Kondo shut Air Force out in the top of the eighth, James Brooks and C.J. Cron quickly got things started with home runs as part of a four-run inning in the bottom of the eighth, giving Utah a 13-4 lead. The Falcons made things interesting in the top of the ninth, scoring six runs to cut the lead to 13-10. Nathan Carter hit a grand slam with two outs before Tyler Wagner was brought in to get the final out of the game.
Ben Mordini, who pitched all seven innings in Utah, earned the first win of his career. Cron, Brooks and Shaun Cooper each had three hits in the game.
With the Utes leading 4-3 in game two, Utah exploded to pull ahead with a six-run sixth inning. Utah had seven of their 20 hits in that inning. Brooks had a two-RBI double as the Utes batted all the way through the lineup.
Air Force slowly started to make their way back. Parker Mayo hit a leadoff home run in the sixth, and the Falcons scored four runs in the seventh off another Mayo homer (this time a three-run shot), cutting the Utah lead to 10-8.
The Utes had enough left in the tank for a final offensive outburst, pulling back ahead with a four-run eighth inning and a five-run ninth inning. Cody Guymon hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning while Cron also had a three-run homer in the ninth.
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