PROVO — Marc Oslund became BYU’s first pitcher with two league wins as the Cougars earned a 7-3 victory over Santa Clara Friday at Larry H. Miller Field.
Oslund (5-1) started the contest rocky, working out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first inning. Oslund went on to dish out nine strikeouts through five innings before Tyler Westensee relieved him on the mound.
Westensee played an important role in BYU's victory.
“Tyler (Westensee) came in and pitched three great innings for us,” BYU head coach Vance Law said. “He really kept us in it.”
The Cougars moved to 21-24 on the season and 9-11 in West Coast Conference play. Santa Clara fell to 24-25 and 3-17 in the WCC.
BYU's Jaycob Brugman had the game-winning RBI in the fourth, pounding a two-run home run over the right-field fence to give BYU a 5-2 lead. The home run was Brugman’s second in the series after hitting a walk-off grand slam Thursday night.
Kealton Caldwell hit a second BYU homer, a solo shot over the center-field fence, to pad the Cougars’ lead, 6-3, in the sixth frame. After hitting just four home runs on the season, the Cougars have hit four home runs in this series.
“There’s really no answer for our lack of home runs this season,” Law said. “These guys all have the power to do so and it’s been strange lately with this lack of big hits. It’s been great to get things moving at the plate in this series with us now being able to compete.”
“The last couple of weeks have been frustrating and all you can really do is keep working to pull it out,” Caldwell said. “It’s nice to get these two wins at home and hopefully continue Saturday.”
In the first inning, BYU's Tanner Chauncey was walked on a full count before Caldwell singled to right field to put runners on the corners. Austin Hall found himself on base by way of an error, scoring Chauncey to put BYU up 1-0. Alex Wolfe then ripped the ball in center field to put runners on the corners again. Santa Clara’s Stephen Takahashi made a diving catch down the right-field line to end the inning.
The Broncos answered in the second inning, taking a 2-1 lead. Greg Harisis doubled to the center-field fence to send home Justin Viele to tie the score. Pat Stover slammed a single down center field that Hall bobbled, allowing a Bronco to score to take that one-run lead.
In an eventful third inning, Brugman, Caldwell and Wolfe were hit by pitches to load the bases and set up Brock Whitney for two RBIs off his center-field single. The runs put the Cougars back on top, 3-2. Santa Clara's Chris Heckert relieved Powell Fansler after he plunked his fourth runner, two shy of tying the NCAA record for hit batters in an inning.
Santa Clara closed the gap to 5-3 after Andrew Biancardi tripled to the wall to score a runner in the fifth.
Two more Cougars were hit for a total of six in the game.
An RBI single by Whitney in the sixth sent home a walked Wolfe for the final score of 7-3.
“One major key for our success is to have Tanner (Chancey) healthy,” Law said. “His defensive skills and attitude at the plate leads our squad and solidifies our infield play.”
The three-game series comes to an end Saturday at 1 p.m. MT.
Whitney Weekes works in BYU Athletic Communications as the tennis sports information director. She can be reached at [email protected].