A five-run eighth inning gave Gonzaga a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over BYU baseball on Friday night.
The loss stopped a three-game win streak for BYU and denied the Cougars evening their record at the .500 mark for the first time since the beginning of the season.
BYU is now 10-12 overall and 3-2 in the West Coast Conference, while Gonzaga moves to .500 at 11-11 and 2-3. BYU has won eight of its past 10 games.
“This was text book on how to give a game away,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We didn't have killer instinct on offense when we had a chance to put the game away in the eighth and then turned around and gave it away in the bottom of the eighth by allowing five runs on one hit. We need to put this behind us and come out Saturday and win the series.”
The Cougars threw four different pitchers when they imploded in the eighth inning after having a 6-2 lead, surrendering six walks and a two-run double for the Zags’ only hit.
BYU took an early lead when Eric Urry belted a three-run, one-out homer to right field in the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie. Then, Gonzaga countered with a run in the fourth before right fielder Urry snuffed out a run in the fifth when he threw the Bulldog runner out at home.
Cougar Hayden Nielsen worked a full count in the sixth to get a two-run, two-out double down the left-field line. Teammate Derrick Whitney scored on Tanner Chauncey’s fielder’s choice to extend that lead to 6-1, but Nielsen was caught off guard in a rundown to end the inning.
BYU’s Brennon Lund extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the third, and Nielsen extended his hitting streak to nine games with another first-inning single against the Zags.
The Bulldogs left eight runners on base through the first six innings. The Cougars left 10 runners aboard through eight innings.
The Cougars finish the three-game series Saturday at Gonzaga at noon PDT. The game will be broadcast live on BYU Radio 960 AM, live audio stream on BYUradio.org and live video by theW.tv.
Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at byucougars.com/staff/athletics/ralph-zobell or contact him at [email protected].