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 plate 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.
UVU ROUTS SUU: At Orem, Utah Valley rolled to its fourth consecutive win, 9-1, over Southern Utah at Brent Brown Ballpark. The Wolverines (11-11) rode a first-inning three-run home run from Austin Heaps and the arm of starter Preston Olson to get their second straight victory in the weekend series against the Thunderbirds (6-19).
SLCC SWEEPS W. NEVADA: At Carson City, Nev., the No. 18 Bruins upset No. 7 Western Nevada 7-5 and 4-1. The wins move Salt Lake (23-4) into a tie for first place in the SWAC.
DIXIE STATE 1, CHICO STATE 0: At Turlock, Calif., sophomore Mattie Snow threw a three-hitter at the Mizuno Tournament of Champions.
SUU SPLITS WITH 'ROOS: At Cedar City, the Thunderbirds lost 5-2 in game one only to come back and win game two, 5-3 against the UMKC Kangaroos.
AGGIES LOSE TWO HEARTBREAKERS: At Logan, the Aggies had lost game one 8-7 in a nine-inning showdown. The second game of the day proved to be just as thrilling as the first, as the Wolf Pack plated two late in the game to sink USU, 3-1.
UVU SPLITS WITH PORTLAND: Utah Valley was shut out 7-0 by Portland State in game one of its Pacific Coast Softball Conference opening series, but returned the favor in game two, defeating the Vikings 1-0 at Wolverine Field on Friday afternoon. Cassie Herrera and Tiffany Mills combined on the shutout.
SLCC EXTENDS WIN STREAK TO 12: At Taylorsville, the No. 4-ranked Bruins (35-6) took two wins over Western Nevada 10-0 and 11-1.
BYU FALLS: At Provo, in its final home match of the season, the Cougars dropped a tough 4-3 decision to No. 34 Saint Mary's at the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts. BYU's doubles' teams, Aubrey Paul, Meghan Sheehan-Dizon scored points for the Cougars.
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