SEATTLE — Freshmen Keaton Cenatiempo and Hayden Nielsen came up big for BYU baseball in a 5-2 defeat Tuesday over Seattle University.
BYU (4-5) picked up its second straight come-from-behind victory as it downed Seattle (1-7) on the heels of the 9-4 upset last Saturday at No. 2 LSU.
With BYU behind 2-0, Cenatiempo took the mound in relief to start the third inning in place of junior Chunner Nyberg. The freshman right-hander from Mesa, Ariz., retired the Redhawks in order in three of his four innings and got a lift in the fifth with an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Those stops defensively bought time for BYU’s offense to gel.
“We struggled offensively, so we made a couple of adjustments,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We didn’t quit, which seems to be our team mantra. We kept plugging and plugging away. One of our biggest hits came from Adam (Law) with two strikes.”
That two-run single by Law with two outs in the seventh inning came after Nielsen’s game-winning RBI on a sacrifice fly to right field and extended the score to 5-2. Law and Nielsen each had two RBIs, with the only other Cougar run coming from reserve outfielder Andy Isom’s single also in the seventh frame.
Then it was time for sophomore James Lengal to close the door as he earned his second save, preserving the win for Cenatiempo and the Cougars.
“Number one, I was pleased with how Keaton (Cenatiempo) got his first win in a tough setting,” Littlewood said in evaluation of his team. ”Second was James Lengal finding his role shutting people down.”
The Cougars have a rematch Wednesday afternoon against Seattle at Bannerwood Park before they return to open the home season Friday against Creighton.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.