Conference cellar dweller Portland nearly got a complete game from pitcher Kurt Yinger as the Pilots beat BYU, 6-3, on Friday night at Larry H. Miller Field.
“We swung our bats all right, but we hit it right at them and they turned some double plays,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “You can't sleep on Portland. They're going to compete, and that's what we saw tonight.”
Portland (7-25, 2-9) put the first two runs on the board in the top of the second as a pick-off attempt from BYU starter Jeff Barker sailed past third baseman Dillon Robinson, scoring a run and advancing a runner to third. The second run scored on an RBI groundout.
Hitless through the first three innings, BYU's bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth inning, plating two runs on three hits. Lund and Derrick Whitney roped back-to-back singles up the middle and advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Hayden Nielsen. Tanner Chauncey grounded out to third to score Lund and Robinson singled through the box to score Whitney and knot the game at 2-2.
In the top of the fifth, Barker walked Pilot leadoff hitter Grant Taylor. After sitting down the next two hitters, Barker allowed three-consecutive doubles and three runs as the senior was chased from the game after 4.2 innings, six hits, four earned runs and a 5-2 Cougar deficit.
Portland added to its lead in the top of the ninth when Kevin Wade, who ended the game with three hits and two RBI, doubled to score Taylor and put the Pilots up 6-2. The relief effort from Corless concluded with 4.1 innings pitched, four hits and one earned run.
BYU loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth but was only able to push one across on a sacrifice fly from Eric Urry. Portland reliever Carl Snaring earned his second save with three straight outs after Yinger loaded the bases. Yinger's outing was good enough for his first win of the season.
The Cougars and Pilots meet again at noon MDT, for the rubber match of the series with live coverage on theW.tv and radio on KOVO 960 AM, including live streaming.