Texas San Antonio used solo and three-run homers to down BYU’s baseball team, 7-1, on Saturday in the Kleberg Bank Classic.
The Roadrunners (5-1) also pounded five doubles to assist lefty Nolan Trabanino his second win of the season, while BYU’s Jeff Barker fell to 0-2. The two dingers were by outfielders Jesse Baker and Tony Ramirez. Ramirez also doubled in addition to his three-run homer.
“There was a fight in us today that I liked,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We didn’t give up. We were in it until the end and that is what I want to see. I liked the way (Jeff) Barker hung in after giving up quick runs. He did a great job of settling back in and keeping it close. He set a great example to not give up, to bear down a bit more.”
Cougar Dillon Robinson got BYU on the scoreboard in the eighth inning with a two-out single to score Hayden Nielsen. Robinson and Brennon Lund were stranded on base, comprising the first of BYU’s two best scoring threats as the Roadrunners made a pitching change.
BYU catcher Jarrett Jarvis extended his consecutive hitting streak to seven games when he singled in the fourth inning and advanced to second base on a wild pitch but was stranded. He singled again in the ninth inning. The Cougars singled six other times in the game: a first-inning bunt by Robinson, in the fourth by Kelton Caldwell, consecutively in the eighth by Nielsen, Lund and Robinson, and in the ninth by Eric Urry.
Urry’s one-out single to left in the ninth kept hope alive as he advanced to second on Jarvis’ second single of the day, also to left field. That forced a second UTSA pitching change in the game after Urry was safe at third on a throw by the Roadrunner center fielder. For the second time, the Cougars stranded a pair of runners as the game ended.
“They (UTSA) swung the bats as well as any team we have played this year,” Littlewood said.
UTSA, a member of the Western Athletic Conference last season when it played in the NCAA regionals, was picked to finish seventh in the 13-team Conference USA this season.
“On our side of things, it’s like a perfect storm," Littlewood said. "We are not playing to our potential right now. We’re playing okay defense and that’s not a recipe for success. It’s just a matter of believing in ourselves. We’ve got the personnel. We just need to get it done on the field and not just talk about it.”
BYU next plays Monday at Texas Tech in Lubbock at 1 p.m., before returning to host Seattle of the WAC in a three-game series at St. George starting Thursday.
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.
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