LAS VEGAS An eight-run seventh inning lifted BYU to a 21-12 victory Saturday over UNLV.
The victory gave BYU the series advantage over the Rebels and improved its overall record to 14-17 and tied the two teams with 5-4 marks in the Mountain West Conference.
Four UNLV pitchers faced BYU in that seventh inning sparked by home runs from Sean McNaughton, a three-run blast; Dan Vargas, a two-run shot; and by doubles from J.T. Musso, Kent Walton and Steve Parker, his second of the day.
Parker also hit a three-run homer in the sixth to boost BYU up 11-6.
"I knew I got it right off the bat," said Parker of that homer. "We battled back each inning and tried to pick away at their lead."
The Rebels started the game scoring three runs in the first inning.
BYU narrowed the gap to 3-1 when Brandon Relf homered to left field in the third. Bryce Ayoso followed with a solo homer in the third, making the score 3-2.
UNLV touched up Cougar starting pitcher Blake Torgerson for three more runs in the fourth.
"I was wondering how we were going to respond after a tough night last night," said BYU coach Vance Law. "We started out slow and sluggish. When we fell behind, I knew six runs wasn't going to beat us."
In a fashion which pleased Coach Vance Law, BYU answered those runs the next inning. Walton hit a no-out single, advancing to second on the thow as Relf scored, making the score 6-5.
A passed ball in the sixth inning allowed Ayoso to score for the fourth of an eventual six consecutive scoring innings, and Jonathan Cluff scored on a ground out to take the lead for the first time in the game, 7-6. Relf laced a hit to right field to score J.C. Leach and put the Cougars up 8-6.
Next up for BYU is a Tuesday non-conference game in Provo against the University of Utah at 2 p.m.