Three home runs and a Trace Hansen three-run double provided plenty of offense in BYU baseball's 16-2 victory over Santa Clara on Friday night at Larry H. Miller Field.
Cougar second baseman Hansen went 3-for-4 and drove in five runs for BYU (19-29, 9-14). His bases-clearing double in the fifth inning scored three runs and gave BYU an 8-1 lead. He added a two-run double in the seventh inning which put the Cougars up 16-1.
"We just looked like world beaters tonight," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "We turned a couple double plays, Jeff Barker threw strikes, worked out of some jams and we got some timely hitting."
BYU starting pitcher Barker went seven innings and only allowed two hits and one run, while striking out four. It was his fifth win of the season and snapped a four-game losing streak for the Cougars. Chunner Nyberg pitched the final two innings, giving up one hit and a run.
In front of 1,139 fans, BYU hit back-to-back home runs to start the second inning. Brock Whitney and Kelton Caldwell hit 3-1 pitches. Whitney's went to center and Caldwell's went to right field, giving the Cougars a 2-0 lead. Jarrett Jarvis followed with a double to the left field wall but didn't get any farther.
In the third, Jarvis singled in Dillon Robinson before Whitney scored on a wild pitch to put BYU up 4-0. The Cougars added another run in the fourth as Hansen singled to start the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Brennon Lund's single.
Bret Lopez hit the third homer of the night for the Cougars in his second at-bat after entering in the fifth inning. Robinson and Whitney reached base on a single and a walk, and then scored on Lopez's home run to left field making it 11-1. Lopez drove in another run with a single in the five-run seventh. He finished the night 2-for-2 with a home run and four RBIs.
Jarvis finished the night 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, while Lund, Robinson and Caldwell each had two hits.
"I can't say enough about our offensive approach for the last month," Littlewood said. "We've been really doing a good job swinging at strikes for the most part and we've been getting timely hits. We just haven't been able to put it all together."
Friday was the first time since the first week in March the Cougars have scored more than 11 runs.
The Broncos (24-26, 13-10) scored their runs in the fifth and the eighth innings. In the fifth inning Kert Woods scored on a fielder's choice, and in the eighth Tyler Meditz scored on a nub single that stayed fair down the third base line.
The Cougars and Broncos play the final game of their three-game series and final home game of the season Saturday at 1 p.m. MDT at Larry H. Miller Field. The game will be televised on BYUtv and the six Cougar seniors — Lopez, Caldwell, Nyberg, Whitney, Chris Howard, Desmond Poulson and Christian Mua — will be honored before the game.
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