BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic — Freshman Tanner Chauncey escaped an eighth-inning rundown Friday as BYU defeated the Dominican Republic Royals’ club team, 4-3.
Chauncey avoided the tag at home as BYU swept the four-game series against teams from the Dominican in a week-long tour. Then it was up to Cougar reliever Marc Oslund to snuff out the Royals’ rally with a runner at second in the ninth. Oslund retired consecutive pinch hitters, garnering the newly returned missionary a save.
BYU took a 4-2 lead into the final inning. In the eighth, BYU’s Christian Mua led off with a single, stole second and was thrown out at the plate off Austin Hall’s single. Chauncey got aboard on an error by the shortstop, which allowed Hall to score after rounding third hard. Robinson walked and then Whitney singled to the hole where the shortstop’s only play was to go home in an effort to stop Chauncey.
“I thought today was really the best ball game we played down here,” said BYU coach Vance Law. “The Royals played well and they put us in a position where we had to really scrap.
“Our pitching staff picked each other up and did a great job. Matt Milke came in and did a nice job for a few innings. Cameron Keysor pitched himself out of a real tough jam. Matt Hutchings, in his first outing ever as a Cougar, got a big out for us. And then Oslund came in and cleaned things up. It was a good performance on the mound. Defensively, I thought we were able to make some really great plays as well.”
Without a single extra-base hit in the game, BYU had to generate offense.
Starting BYU pitcher Adam Miller dominated the first inning, then couldn’t find the strike zone in the second when multiple walks and a wild pitch led to a pair of Royal runs.
In the fourth, Chauncey led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on Dillon Robinson’s single to center and scored off Brock Whitney’s single to center. Robinson advanced to third on Whitney’s single and tied the game on Wes Guenther’s single to right.
Freshman Cameron Keysor, who came into the game in the seventh, ended up being the winning pitcher.
“Our team has been playing well and working hard,” said Oslund, who relieved Keysor. “The team was battling and I wanted to come in and get the win. It felt great to do that and close the game out.”
BYU used five pitchers against the Royals, with newly returned missionary Miller starting, then being replaced by JC transfer Milke and freshmen Keysor and Matt Hutchings before Oslund sealed the game.
“All in all, it was a very good week down here,” said Law. “I think that we accomplished what we wanted. We have a lot of guys that got a lot of playing time and as coaches we have a chance to evaluate them now when we get back.
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“I’m very pleased with the way our guys have been playing and the way they’ve acted off the field with the firesides and service projects we’ve done. It’s been an unbelievable week and I’m sure it’s one they’ll never forget. The competition here was good, but we were that much better.”
Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at http://byucougars.com/staff/athletics/ralph-zobell or contact him at email@example.com.