Host Nicholls State put an end to BYU baseball’s six-game winning streak, taking the nightcap of a Friday doubleheader, 10-2, after losing 7-6 in 12 innings earlier.
BYU fell one win short of evening its record to the .500 mark for the first time this season and dropped to 7-9, while NSU improved to 7-8 prior to Saturday evening’s finale (6 p.m. CST) of the four-game series.
Cougar catcher Jarrett Jarvis extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a ninth-inning double in game two Friday but was stranded at second as the Cougars couldn’t produce like they had to start the Friday doubleheader.
“We knew we had to be efficient in the second game and weren’t,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “(Taylor) Byrd did a good job and he showed us why he has a low ERA. We kicked it around defensively and couldn’t solve him.
“We persevered through a bunch of tough innings in the first game. I’m proud that Jeff (Barker) buckled down and got us through six more innings. They kept putting the pressure on, but we earned that game when we were able to hold them.”
One of the Cougar heroes Friday was reliever Brandon Kinser, who garnered his first win at BYU with clutch closing innings. Kinser, a transfer from Santa Barbara College, retired NSU in order in the 10th and applied the tag at home following a toss from catcher Bronson Larsen for an inning-ending out in the 11th.
“We were going to intentionally walk the batter and then Brandon (Kinser) threw a wild pitch,” Littlewood said. “Their guy tried to score from third. Bronson (Larsen) threw to Kinser for the out. That would have been the game winner for them.”
In the game one victory, BYU scored three unearned runs in the first inning to take the initial lead. The Colonels took a 4-3 advantage in the bottom of the first.
Cougar Eric Urry tied the score at four-all with a leadoff solo homer in the sixth inning. BYU reclaimed the lead at 5-4 when Kelton Caldwell doubled in the sixth and later scored on CJ Latham's sacrifice bunt.
NSU chased Jeff Barker off the mound in the seventh as a leadoff walk ended up scoring to tie the game at five-all.
BYU’s Trace Hansen singled to left field with the bases loaded, scoring Parker Starr. However, Bret Lopez was out at home trying to score on the same play as BYU took a 6-5 lead in the 11th inning. The Colonels tied it for the fourth time of the game in the bottom of that frame, 6-6.
The Cougars scored the winning run in the 12th when Brennon Lund led off with a single, advanced to second on Urry’s sac-bunt, reached third on Brock Whitney's fly out to center field and Starr singled him home.
Starr substituted after Dillon Robinson suffered a costly ankle injury coming out of the batter’s box in the ninth inning when the right fielder threw him out at first base.
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.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company