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BYU baseball: First place San Diego sweeps BYU, 17-8

By Brittany Bivings

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 15 2014 5:55 p.m. MDT

First place San Diego belted 22 hits in a 17-8 victory to complete a three-game sweep over BYU baseball Saturday.

The Toreros (14-4, 3-0 West Coast Conference) got four hits apiece from second baseman Austin Bailey and outfielder Hunter Mercado-Hood. Bailey had one of five doubles and scored the game-winning run off Mercado-Hood’s first hit of the game in the second inning.

“I really think we ran into a freight train,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “We do have to tip our hats to them (San Diego), but it’s disappointing to see how we came out. I told them (the team) in the clubhouse that I’m not giving up on them. I look out at them and believe that this team is going to compete.”

With five hits but no runs by the fourth inning, BYU (7-14, 0-3 WCC) finally put something together to get some runs across the plate. CJ Latham and JC Snyder had consecutive singles with one out. Hayden Nielsen singled to bring Latham in, and Snyder scored on a wild pitch.

The Cougars unloaded in a strong seventh-inning attempt to make a comeback. They scored their final six runs on four hits including a two-run double from catcher Bronson Larsen who subbed in the top of that inning.

But the second-inning deficit was too much to overcome. In an ironic twist to BYU ace Kolton Mahoney’s last outing (no-hitter against Nicholls State), he gave up five of the seven hits and was relieved by Michael Springer.

Jarrett Jarvis tried to jumpstart the Cougars in the second inning with a two-out single. Latham followed with a laser over the second baseman’s head for back-to-back hits.

Determined to get the bats going in the third, the Cougars came out swinging for three hits. Parker Starr and Brock Whitney each singled and Kelton Caldwell drew the walk to load the bases. Hoping to clean up, Bret Lopez swung for the fence battling the wind but just missed the corner of the left-field fence and flew out.

The Toreros ran the field in the fourth inning, producing five singles and a double for four runs to lead the Cougars, 15-0.

At 15-2 in the top of the sixth, Brandon Kinser made his second appearance of the series on the mound. The Cougars quickly retired the Toreros for the first time of the game, holding them to one hit and four at-bats.

Louie Lechich, who picked up his fourth win of the season, also hit the solo home run of the game over the right-field fence for two additional runs in the ninth. The Cougars were retired in order in the eighth and ninth innings in a quick end to the game.

BYU hits the road for eight straight games, making its first stop in the Bay Area of California. Before returning to league play, the Cougars play Fresno State on Wednesday in a single-game matchup beginning at 6:35 p.m. PDT.

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