Extending its winning streak to seven games, Loyola Marymount University earned a 2-0 victory over BYU on Thursday night at Larry H. Miller Field.
“We had our chance against one of the better pitchers in the league tonight and he showed us why he’s one of the better ones in the league,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “But we were right there and we had our opportunities to win.”
The Cougars (14-25, 5-11 West Coast Conference) collected six hits but weren’t able to string them together for a run. The Lions (24-14, 12-4 WCC) had nine hits and just one error. Right-handed pitcher Colin Welmon of second-place LMU threw a complete game and had three strikeouts.
BYU came out aggressive in the first inning, with two outs from pitcher Desmond Poulson including a pick off at second base.
Impressing the audience from the outfield, Eric Urry made a diving catch in left field to stop a run from crossing the plate in the top of the second.
Kelton Caldwell doubled to right-center field with no outs in the bottom of the second. The Cougars were retired in order, leaving Caldwell stranded in scoring position.
Poulson held LMU to five hits and no runs through the first five innings. On one of Poulson’s five full-count batters, he personally took charge, bare handing the nubber off the cleanup batter Tanner Donnels to end the fifth inning.
Tied 0-0 in the top of the sixth inning, LMU broke the silence with a standup double off the center field fence for an RBI. The Lions put another run across with a blooper to right field.
Attempting to keep it alive for BYU, Urry laced a two-out double to right field in the bottom of the sixth. Dillon Robinson drew a walk to put a second runner on, but Brock Whitney popped up to the left fielder.
After six innings for eight hits and three runs, Poulson was relieved by left-handed pitcher Chris Howard. He retired six of seven batters through two innings and gave up just one hit.
Brandon Kinser closed, putting away two in the ninth to give the Cougars one last chance at the plate.
Robinson drew a leadoff walk in the ninth. Caldwell knuckled a Texas leaguer to left field for another runner on base. Neither Jarrett Jarvis nor Bret Lopez could produce a run and flew out to end the game.
Game two of the three-game LMU series begins Friday at 6 p.m. MDT at Miller Park.