Second baseman Trace Hansen’s bat and glove helped BYU to a 7-3 victory Thursday over Seattle University after a four-hour rain delay at Bruce Hurst Field.
BYU (2-8) got a lift from the sophomore from Avon, Utah, in a 3-for-3 effort at the plate, starting with a no-out RBI triple to left field in the second inning. That triple gave BYU a 3-0 lead, scoring catcher Jarrett Jarvis who had doubled prior to Hansen’s at-bat. Jarvis’ double to right field extended his team-leading hitting streak to nine games.
“It was a great team win,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “Moving Trace to the nine-hole was the difference in the game. He did a nice job.”
Hansen’s fielding helped in that difference, too. In the fifth frame he was on the receiving end of the inning-ending putout when Seattle’s Chase Field’s grounder glanced off the glove of third baseman Dillon Robinson and was scooped up by shortstop Hayden Nielsen for the tag at second base. The Robinson-Hansen duo got key out number two when catcher Brian Olson grounded out to them.
Winning pitcher Desmond Poulson (2-0) contributed a lot toward the Cougar victory as well. Poulson got an inning-ending strikeout when he set the Redhawks down in order and recorded a key pickoff at first in the sixth, both against shortstop Cullen Hendrickson.
“When Desmond couldn’t find the zone, he found a way to get out of jams,” Littlewood said. “It was nice to have Hayden (Rogers) and BK (Brandon Kinser) finish it off for us on the mound.”
The lefty Rogers struck out four Redhawks in two innings of relief, while Kinser enticed Seattle into three consecutive groundouts to Nielsen at shortstop to end the game.
“We left a lot of guys out there (14 left on base), but there was really a good vibe in the dugout,” Littlewood said. “The team kept their mindset that we were going to play in spite of the rain delays and did a great job of staying mentally focused.” T
hat focus showed on plays like a catch on the warning track in the fourth inning by Dallen Reber of St. George when Seattle was again retired in order.
Seattle and BYU are scheduled to play a noon doubleheader on Friday, weather permitting, to conclude the three-game series. Those games will be broadcast live on KOVO Radio 960 AM and online.
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.