"I was really proud of him (Poulson) because last year he was the tone setter for us and even earlier in the year he was the tone setter," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "Tonight he did the same thing. He set the tone for the series, set the tone for the game, and our guys fed off it. You could feel it was a little different."
Poulson threw 118 pitches, earning a 4.10 ERA. He was relieved by James Lengal, who had seven pitches in the eighth.
The Cougars (11-20, 3-7 West Coast Conference) scored in all but two innings. Three Cougars had two RBIs apiece — Brock Whitney, Jarrett Jarvis and Parker Starr. Brennon Lund was 4-for-4 with one RBI, and Dillon Robinson and Jarvis were 3-for-4.
BYU led with 15 hits to Pacific’s (13-18, 4-6 WCC) five.
Pacific’s Michael Benson beamed Lund and walked Eric Urry to start the Cougars’ turn at bat in the first. Lund advanced to third base when Robinson flew out to left field and ran home when Whitney grounded out to third. Kelton Caldwell’s fly was caught by the Tigers’ center fielder to end the inning.
BYU took advantage of left field in the bottom of the second. Bret Lopez recorded the first hit of the game, smashing the ball into left field for a double. Jarvis batted Lopez in with a double of his own, then ran in when Lund singled to left field to put BYU ahead 3-0. Lund stole second, his fifth steal of the season, but was left on base to finish the inning.
Robinson hit the ball just out of reach of the center fielder and made it to third base to start the bottom of the third. Whitney tallied another RBI, sending Robinson home on a single for the Cougars’ only run of the inning.
BYU came into the bottom of the fifth on fire, collecting four runs. A shortstop error put Whitney on first and Robinson on second. Lopez batted in Robinson after Whitney was tagged out, followed by Jarvis batting in Caldwell. Starr singled to left field, picking up two RBIs as Jarvis and Lopez came home.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Starr hit the ball to Pacific’s shortstop, who bobbled the ball and allowed Robinson to run home. BYU finished the inning ahead 9-0.
Poulson lost his bids for a no-hitter and a shutout in the top of the seventh when Pacific picked up its first hit of the game and nearly scored when a single bounced off Whitney. Starr recovered the ball and launched it to Jarvis, arriving just in time to tag the runner out at home. The Tigers picked up their only run on a BYU error.
Robinson hit a sac fly to the right fielder, giving Lund time to run home for a 10-1 lead to end the seventh.
The Cougars continue the three-game series with Pacific on Friday at 6 p.m. MDT.
Rachel Hawks is a sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.