Texas Tech’s relief pitchers held on for a 4-2 defeat over BYU baseball after surrendering a two-run homer on Monday.
BYU’s Kelton Caldwell belted the first pitch over the right-field fence to score Brock Whitney, who had walked with two outs in the sixth inning, chasing new reliever Matt Custred from the game. The Cougars tried to capitalize on that momentum with pinch hitters CJ Latham and Eric Urry, who got aboard with a walk and a single, but were stranded at the corners.
"It (Caldwell’s homer) was a big deal,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “He hit that fastball about 400 feet and it was the spark we needed to get us going."
Southpaw starter Dylan Dusek pitched effectively for five innings for his career debut and win before yielding to the right-handed Custred. Then, the Red Raiders brought in lefty Jonny Drozd who quieted the Cougar bats, which ended up out-hitting Tech, 8-7. The Cougars left nine on base compared to Tech’s five.
BYU stranded runners at first and second in the fourth and fifth frames after Whitney, JC Snyder and Hayden Nielsen singled in those innings.
In the ninth inning, pinch hitter Jarrett Jarvis extended his hitting streak to eight games with a leadoff double to left field against right-hander Ryan Moseley, who ended up with the save. Jarvis advanced to third off a wild pitch with two out that inning.
“I told the team this was the first time I saw them with a passion to win,” Littlewood said. “I thought our bullpen was the bright spot. They did a nice job shutting things down. Although we lost, it was nice to play close and really compete. We got behind in the third inning when we walked the first two batters.”
Brandon Kinser, one of three Cougar relievers in the game, struck out four in three innings.
The victory was the seventh in a row for Texas Tech, now 7-1, all at home, while the Cougars fell to 1-8, all on the road.
BYU hosts Seattle University in a three-game series at St. George starting Thursday at 1 p.m.
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.