FORT WORTH, Texas A pitchers' duel went San Diego State's way Wednesday in a 1-0 season-ender for BYU's baseball team at the Mountain West Conference Championships.
BYU sophomore Blake Torgerson went the distance with 108 pitches in dueling lefty Nate Solow in a shutout through six innings.
BYU's first hit came when Sean McNaughton's two-out double rocketed down the left-field line and got Aztec third baseman Nick Romero dodging and touching the ground like he was playing a twister board game in the third inning.
With two out and two on in the fourth, BYU's Steve Parker snagged a shot at third and threw out Brandon Decker at first in a controversial call to end that inning.
Solow retired a dozen consecutive Cougars before Parker singled to left with two outs and stole second in the seventh. But as with McNaughton in the third, Parker was stranded at second.
In the seventh, a full-count walk to Decker with two out made way for consecutive singles by San Diego State, the second of which by Brett Tanos scored Decker for the game's only run.
The Cougars looked to answer that run in the eighth when Andrew Law beat out a bunt single with two outs, but left field winds claim the combined eighth fly-out of the game to negate that chance. Law was fortuitous in the bottom of that frame when Garrett Green lined to him in a double play that ended the inning.
Kasey Ko drew a two-out walk, the first base on balls of the game for Solow. Ko was replaced by pinch-runner Michael Bowen, who advanced to third when Parker singled past second on a fullcount, the last of Solow's 137 pitches.
"Solow has been tough on us, but we were able to match him pitch per pitch," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "We just weren't able to capitalize. When you get a great performance out of a pitching staff, it is a rarity and it is really tough on us. We played a lot better today, but I am disappointed we didn't show better this season."
The Cougars end the season with a 22-36 record, while SDSU, now 31-27, moves on to play in the tourney's third round Thursday.
The last time BYU was shut out was in April 2007 at Fort Worth during the regular season.
NEW MEXICO 8, UTAH 2: The No. 5-seeded Utes dropped an 8-2 decision to No. 2 New Mexico in the quarterfinals.
The Utes now enter the consolation bracket of the double-elimination tournament. They play San Diego State, the No. 3 seed, at 10 a.m. MDT today.
On two occasions, the Utes (24-27 overall) loaded the bases but couldn't take advantage. In all, the Utes left 12 runners on base, plating just two runs in the six-run loss.
Stephen Fife, who went six innings, took the loss and falls to 7-5 on the year. He allowed seven hits, eight runs (six earned) and one walk. Fife fanned three Lobo batters.
Even though the Utes owned the 11-10 edge in hits, most of their 11 hits put people on base, but they couldn't score them. Trailing 3-0 in the top of the fourth, the Utes loaded the bases with one out. Then, Tyler Relf grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Again, the Utes
juiced the bases in the sixth, this time with two outs and trailing 6-1.
But the Lobos agaom got away unscathed as Austin Jones hit a grounder to the shortstop, and he flipped it to second to get the force out.
Michael Beltran led the Utes with a trio of hits. He got a hit in each of his first three at bats and finished the day with a 3-for-4 effort.
Cody Guymon and Jesse Shriner had the Utes' RBIs. With one out and Nick Kuroccko on third, Guymon hit a grounder to second. Lobo second baseman Mark Brownstein went for the force out at first, allowing Kuroczko to score.
Shriner's RBI came in the ninth inning. The senior catcher stepped in with one out and runners on the corners. Shriner hit a single to left field, easily scoring DC Legg from third.