PROVO, Utah – Jacob Hannemann and Jaycob Brugman had chalk-dusting hits to spark a four-run seventh inning in a 6-3 BYU baseball upset over No. 21 UC Irvine on Thursday at Larry H. Miller Field.
The Cougars (8-6) recorded a second upset in as many weeks over a top-25 team, giving the Anteaters (11-3) their first road loss of the season in their first-ever trip to Provo.
Hannemann tied a school record with his second triple, a chalk-duster down the right field line to score Jarrett Jarvis from first to give the Cougars a 3-2 lead. After a pitching change, Hannemann capitalized on a passed ball to score from third and push the lead to 4-2. Brugman dusted the next pitch down the left field line for a stand-up, two-run double to push the lead to 6-2.
“Our hitters made some good adjustments and solved a pretty good pitching staff over there,” BYU head baseball coach Mike Littlewood said. “Andrew Thurman is one of the best right handers in the country. I’m really proud of our guys today.”
Cougar sophomore James Lengal pitched a perfect ninth, striking out one and forcing two groundouts for his third save of the season.
Starting BYU pitcher Desmond Poulson finished with five strikeouts and scattered seven hits over 6 and 2/3 strong innings.
“It was a struggle the whole time, just because they are a scrappy team,” Poulson said. “They’re a hard team that you have to focus on every inning in order to put up a zero. When you have our hitters hitting the way they did tonight, it is easier to go out there and have a lot more confidence.”
Teammate Bret Lopez hit a one-out single to center to get on base for the Cougars in the bottom of the fifth. After Jarrett Jarvis flied out to center, Hayden Nielsen hit a sharp grounder that glanced off the wickets of the Anteater shortstop and advanced Lopez to third. The UC Irvine pitcher, Thurman and the catcher got crossed up and Lopez scored on the wild pitch to tie the game 1-1. Hannemann, who extended his hitting streak to five games, got up next and hit a triple deep over the centerfielder’s head to score Nielsen from third for a 2-1 lead.
UCI’s Kris Paulino hit a two-out, stand-up double in the top of the sixth, and Mikey Duarte hit a shallow single to center to plate Paulino from second and tie the game 2-2.
Mark Anderson came in to relieve Poulson in the middle of the top of the seventh. After the Anteaters loaded the bases, Derek Speigner (1-0) came in and got UC Irvine to fly out to shallow right to end the inning and keep the score tied at 2-2.
Brugman, who went 3-for-4 in the game with two RBIs, registered the first hit of the afternoon for the Cougars, hitting a single up the middle in the second inning. With Brock Whitney up, Brugman tried to steal second on a wild pitch but was called out on a controversial call.
“Winning the first game is going to give us a lot of momentum going into tomorrow’s game,” Poulson said. “They’re going to want to try and put it to us, but we will be ready.”
After letting a runner on first, Poulson picked offed Ryan Cooper in a 1-3-4-1 run-down to end the top of the third inning and keep the score tied 0-0.
Connor Spencer hit a one-out double in the fourth inning and Ronnie Shaeffer followed with a double to the wall to score Spencer from second to give UC Irvine the first lead of the game at 1-0. Poulson induced an inning-ending groundout to short to keep the Anteaters from scoring any more runs.
Both teams return to Larry H. Miller field Friday for game two of the series. The game starts at 3 p.m. MST and can be heard live on KOVO Radio 960 AM.
Jared Houghton is a Sports Information Director who works in the BYU Athletic Communications with the men's and women's swimming teams. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions relating to swimming.