PROVO — Alex Wolfe’s two-run double in the seventh inning made the difference as BYU's baseball team emerged with an 8-6 win over league-leading Loyola Marymount Saturday at Larry Miller Field.
“It was a cheap double, but a double is a double,” BYU coach Vance Law said of Wolfe’s floater down the right-field line. That hit scored Jaycob Brugman and pinch-hitter Kelton Caldwell, who had singled to tie the game earlier that frame.
To the delight of most of the 1,931 fans in attendance, all four runs in that seventh came with two outs after LMU retired the first two batters of the inning.
“Wolfe battled and we can depend on him being ready to play,” said Law of the senior co-captain. “Every series is a big one. For us to take two of three against LMU was huge.”
The four runs BYU got in the seventh inning weren’t the only ones the Cougars scored with two outs Saturday. Down 5-0 in the fifth, BYU scored three of its four unearned runs with two outs.
BYU infielder Austin Hall smashed a two-out double down the left-field corner in the fifth to close the gap to 5-3 and then scored off Brugman’s single. Hall started the day at third base, batting cleanup, and then switched to second base in the seventh.
“We’re a two-out team. We’ve been doing it all year,” said Hall. “Even though we are down, we find a way to score runs with two outs. I needed to get a big hit. I haven’t played second this year, so it’s nice coach has confidence in me. “
The seventh-inning rally allowed reliever David Parry, now 2-0, to earn the victory on the mound. With the momentum swing, relievers Chris Howard and Mason “the Mantis” Marshall were most effective in the eighth and ninth innings.
“Today Mason’s fastball hit 90,” said Law of Marshall’s seventh save, his second this week. “He has kept guys off balance all year long.”
“This was a must-win game,” added Hall. “We have confidence in Mason. We’re a resilient team. We never quit and we battle hard. “
LMU (13-14 and 4-2 in the West Coast Conference) used solo home runs by Tanner Donnels and Shon Roe in the third and fourth innings, respectively, to build its 5-0 lead.
BYU (14-12 and 6-3 in the WCC) took two of three from the Lions and now gets a break from league play with four non-conference games at Seattle University, starting Thursday with a doubleheader.
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].