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BYU baseball: victory eludes BYU in 14th inning at San Diego

By Ralph R. Zobell

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 16 2013 8:25 p.m. MDT

SAN DIEGO — Kris Bryant knocked his second walk-off home run against BYU Saturday as first-place San Diego won 10-9 in 14 innings.

The Cougars (9-10) played four hours and 42 minutes, leading most of the game again against USD (14-6). Bryant put together bookend walk-off homers to help the Toreros to a three-game sweep of BYU.

“It doesn’t get any more bitter than this,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We need to find a way to get over the hump. It would be nice to pull one of these out. We keep getting punched and punched and punched, but we need to be resilient right now.

“Kris Bryant is a great player and he beat us a couple times. We tip our hat to him and move on.”

BYU had the West Coast Conference leader on the ropes thanks to several outstanding plays. Among them were four double plays in the first, second, fourth and ninth innings on Saturday. The Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead off a pair of singles, the second of which came from the hot bat of Brock Whitney. Whitney also had the two-out RBI in the 14th inning, which gave BYU a 9-8 lead.

Earlier in the game with two out in the third frame, Whitney homered, scoring Jaycob Brugman to regain the lead, 5-3.

BYU mounted another challenge in the ninth to tie the game and take the lead. Bret Lopez singled off the butt of the bat and Whitney scored in the confusion to tie the game, 7-7. Pinch-runner Andy Isom scored the go-ahead run, 8-7, when P J Conlon overthrew second base. Isom scored when the errant throw went into center field.

Torero Connor Joe tied the game at eight-all in the bottom of the ninth with a leadoff homer.

BYU center fielder Jacob Hannemann combined with Nate Favero on a defensive gem in the 12th inning. The Cougar duo threw out Lucas Hagberg at third after he was held up from scoring.

“All that is nice, but it is not a W,” Littlewood said. “We’re dejected. It doesn’t get any easier. No matter who we play, we need to give ourselves a chance to win. We’ll keep plugging away. We play hard every single day.”

BYU next plays at UNLV in Las Vegas on Monday afternoon to start five consecutive non-conference tilts, ending with a four-game series against Kansas in Provo.

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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