IRVINE, Calif.—Scott Gottschling’s three-run double off a first- inning fastball with two out paved the way Thursday night for UC Irvine’s 3-1 victory over BYU.
The Anteaters (7-5) defended that margin through six frames of work by starting pitcher Kyle Hooper, who surrendered his first run in 23 innings.
That BYU run came in the fifth inning when Adam Law led off with a centerfield single, advanced to third on Stephen Wells’ single to right-center and scored when Tanner Chauncey hit into a fielder’s choice.
Those singles were two of the seven Cougar hits as BYU’s record falls to 4-5.
Three opportunities escaped BYU’s grasp. The final threat came in the ninth with runners on the corners with two out.
“Wes Guenther smoked a hit that would have put on a lot of pressure had it made it out of the infield,” said BYU coach Vance Law of that ninth inning. “If we could have scored (Kelton) Caldwell in the second, it might have been a different game.”
Two Cougars were stranded at third, in the second when Kelton Caldwell led off with a double to left-center and in the third when Chauncey got aboard with an error to start that inning.
“Chris Capper pitched another excellent game,” said Coach Law. “His record is not indicative of the games he has pitched.”
Chris Capper (0-3) struck out nine Anteaters and got key relief from Chris Howard in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively.
“Right now it’s the offense that is struggling and we are trying to address that as best as we can,” said Coach Law. “We are pressing at the plate, trying to get too much done in one at bat. I have confidence we will turn it around and get on a roll.”
The teams continue the three-game series the second contest on Friday evening.
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 [email protected].