BYU baseball: Desmond Poulson fires Cougars to win over Seattle University on Military Night

By Ralph R. Zobell

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, April 13 2012 10:50 p.m. MDT

TACOMA, Wash. — Sophomore pitcher Desmond Poulson fired the salvos on Military Night to lead BYU's baseball team to a 4-1 victory over Seattle University at the Triple-A Raniers’ Cheney Stadium Friday.

The Redhawks (15-15) dressed in camouflage tops but were blanked by Poulson, who nearly led the Cougars to their first shutout win of the season.

BYU (17-12), which won its fourth in a row, settled into an early comfort zone with a 1-0 lead in the second, increased it to 3-0 in the third and to 4-0 in the sixth.

Poulson, meanwhile, tossed a one-hitter through the first four innings, then surrendered only his second hit in the fifth.

“Desmond was outstanding tonight,” BYU coach Vance Law said. “He dominated the game. Once we got the lead, Desmond took it from there. His breaking ball was working for strikes. He and Wes (Guenther) kept their batters off balance.”

Poulson twice recovered from struggles to keep Seattle at bay.

First, he struck out the final batter in the third inning, stranding two runners who had reached via walks. Later, in the seventh, two Redhawks advanced to second and third, but Poulson induced a pop-up, which he caught with a basket catch to end the inning.

Poulson, now 1-2, left the game with two outs in the eighth as lefty Chris Howard fanned a Seattle batter with one on to end that frame.

Offensively, Cougar shortstop Austin Hall stroked a pair of doubles, the first of which came in the second off the left-field wall. Hall scored in the sixth on consecutive BYU doubles.

In that sixth inning, Hall doubled down the left-field line, and then scored on Kelton Caldwell’s double to deep left field.

“Austin swung the bat well again tonight and Kelton (Caldwell) got a big hit," said Law. "We were patient until their pitcher elevated his off-speed pitches. I’m encouraged by our approaches at the plate. The last two weeks we’ve been swinging better.”

The teams conclude a four-game series at Seattle’s home field, Bannerwood Park, on Saturday at 1 p.m. MT.

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 ralph_zobell@byu.edu.

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