PROVO — No. 19 San Diego emerged with a 14-7 victory over BYU's baseball team Thursday night at Larry H. Miller Field.
With the win, San Diego takes a two-game lead over Loyola Marymount in the West Coast Conference standings.
The Toreros (34-11, 11-5) stayed atop the WCC thanks to a pinch-hit, two-run single from Jon Hotta in the seventh inning to regain the lead, 8-7.
BYU pitcher Desmond Poulson previously held on to the Cougar lead — after a pair of doubles between the third and fourth — until he left in the seventh.
“This was a good test for us against a good San Diego team,” BYU coach Vance Law said. “San Diego is a good hitting team and we can’t afford to fall behind.”
Trailing 4-2, momentum changed in the third when BYU (18-19, 7-6) found itself on top. Stephen Wells led off with a double off the centerfield wall and later scored because of two BYU groundouts. Taking advantage of back-to-back walks, Alex Wolfe then doubled to right-center field on a full count for two RBIs and a 5-4 Cougar lead.
BYU padded its lead to 7-4 in the fourth with a center-field line drive by Austin Hall on a full count that plated two. Hall’s single chased San Diego’s starting pitcher Dylan Covey off the mound with eventual winning pitcher Max MacNabb taking his place.
James Lengal, who took the loss, replaced Poulson on the mound in the seventh before Mason Marshall quickly relieved him. Bryan Haar drilled a double down the left-field line to score another run and extend the Torero lead to 9-7
“We are in a position where our middle relievers accept a difficult role,” Law said. “I can’t use the whole bullpen on the first day.”
The Cougars take on the Toreros Friday at 6 p.m. MT in the second of a three-game series.
All the BYU-USD games will be televised live by BYUtv and by 960 AM and BYU Radio on the Internet.
Whitney Weekes works in BYU Athletic Communications as the tennis sports information director. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.