Kolton Mahoney tied his career high with 11 strikeouts, and a five-run fourth inning gave BYU a 6-0 win over Hartford in the home opener Thursday afternoon.
“Kolton wasn’t totally sharp today,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “He just did an outstanding job of pitching. He did today what a lot of teams have done against us, getting out of jams and he did a nice job getting out of those.”
The Cougars improve to 3-10 on the season and 1-0 at Larry H. Miller Field. With the loss in the first-ever matchup between the two squads, Hartford dropped to 3-4. BYU recorded 11 hits, including going 4-of-9 with runners in scoring position and smacking four extra-base hits.
After BYU second baseman Tanner Chauncey earned a walk to start the fourth, senior infielder Dillon Robinson roped an RBI double to center field that scored Chauncey from first to put the Cougars up 1-0 with no outs in the fourth.
Back-to-back singles by Jarrett Jarvis and Eric Urry scored Robinson and Colton Shaver to give BYU the 3-0 lead with only one out in the fourth and runners on second and third.
An RBI groundout from sophomore Cole Wilstead scored Jarvis, and Brennon Lund followed it with an RBI single to give BYU five runs in the inning and a 5-0 lead to end the fourth.
“We talk about quality at-bats and being productive and if you’re going to get out, be productive,” Littlewood said. “We did that today. We were disciplined at the plate and the results showed on the scoreboard.”
Mahoney improved to 1-1 on the season and started hot on the mound striking out the first two batters. After a walk, Mahoney fielded a grounder right back at him and flipped the ball over to first to get the Cougars out of the first inning.
The Cougar offense threatened in the bottom half of the first when sophomore outfielder Lund led off with a single. Two batters later, Chauncey blooped a single on a hit and run to give the Cougars two runners on with only one out. But BYU couldn’t take advantage, and the first inning ended tied at 0-0.
After giving up a leadoff single in the third, Mahoney struck out a batter and walked two straight Hawks to load the bases with only one out. The junior pitcher got out of the jam, striking out two more batters to strike out the side and keep the score at 0-0 through three innings.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Jarvis smacked his first home run of the season over the 345 sign in left field to give BYU a 6-0 lead through six innings, and the score held the rest of the way, giving the Cougars a 6-0 win.
The Cougars and Hawks are back in action Friday for a doubleheader with the first game starting at 2:00 p.m. MST, and the second tentatively slated to start at 5:30 p.m. Game two will only be seven innings. Both games will be streamed live on TheW.tv and broadcast on BYU Radio, with game one also broadcasted on KOVO 960 AM.
Zach Brady is a student at BYU and current BYU swimming & diving SID. TWITTER: @Zachbrady7 EMAIL: [email protected].