Utah Pitcher Brett McDermaid can probably tell you what BYU first baseman Brad Winget eats for breakfast, what kind of frosting he likes on the his birthday cake or what toothpaste he uses.
But most importantly, he knows how to get Winget out. Or at least he used to.Saturday afternoon Utah coach Tim Esmay called on McDermaid to save the game against for the Utes. But McDermaid, who transferred from BYU to Utah last year, surrendered a leadoff single to BYU's Spencer Oborn. Winget then stepped into the box and drilled a two-run homer to lift BYU to a 12-11 win.
"He probably thought a curveball low and away would get me out, and it would have last year - but not this year," Winget said. "I hated to do that to him. He's a bulldog and I'm a bulldog. We're both competitors and really good friends."
Winget's homer completed a spirited comeback for the Cougars, who trailed 7-0 in the third innning off the strength of a pair of two-run homers from Mike Wood and Jared Larsen.
Since it was the first of a doubleheader, it was only scheduled for seven innings, with the second game set for nine innings.
Utah salvaged the three-game series with a 16-10 win in the second game. The Utes trailed 10-4 in the fourth inning, but Utah stormed back with a six-run fifth inning. Larsen and Wood came up big again with RBI doubles.
Utah then added three more runs in the sixth and three in the seventh to provide plenty of insurance for Rick Clagett, who settled down to hold the Cougars to just nine hits.
"He shut us down in the last three innings and in this ballpark that's a Herculean effort," said BYU coach Gary Pullins. "We're just not playing well enough to sweep anyone right now."
Clagett was on the verge of getting pulled after BYU scored eight runs in the fourth inning, but after a few adjustments, he closed BYU down. "I quit throwing so much off-speed stuff and went back to throwing more fastballs and that made the difference," Clagett said.
Winget went 5-for-8 for the day with three home runs and eight RBI.
Eric Wallace went 5-for-10 for Utah with three home runs. The Utes are 2-10 in conference play, and BYU is 5-9.