A career-high and team season-high six RBIs for senior Parker Starr helped BYU knock off Utah Valley, 15-6, on Tuesday night at Larry H. Miller Field.
“Parker just does a great job going up to the plate and having professional at-bats,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “He hunts for the pitches he wants and does his best to put a bat on the ball.”
BYU (15-17, 6-6 West Coast Conference) used nine pitchers to beat UVU (10-20, 6-3 Western Athletic Conference) while giving up eight hits with three errors for six total runs. The Cougar offense picked up 16 hits to plate 15 runs and scored at least one run in six of the eight innings they batted.
Brennon Lund led off the game for BYU with a single down the first-base line to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Lund stole second two pitches later, setting up the Cougar offense with a runner in scoring position and nobody out.
True freshman Colton Shaver continued to terrorize UVU pitching, he hit two home runs in the first matchup against UVU on March 10. Shaver ripped a single to center with two outs to score Lund from third and give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
BYU starting pitcher Jeff Barker only pitched two innings and didn’t allow any hits while striking out two Wolverines.
The BYU coaching staff planned that Barker would only go two innings and then the Cougars would bring in a new pitcher each inning to finish the game to preserve arms for the weekend series against conference foe Loyola Marymount.
Utah Valley left fielder Kade Andrus hit a deep fly ball to right-center in the top of the third. BYU outfielder Eric Urry made the catch at the warning track but had no chance to throw out the Wolverine runner who tagged up and scored from third to tie the game at one.
Andrus did damage on the defensive side for the Wolverines as well. With two BYU runners on and one out in the third, Shaver tagged a pitch to left field that would have been a three-run homer if not for Andrus rising up and stealing it from over the wall.
After a walk to load the bases with two outs, Starr drilled the first pitch he saw to deep center field for a bases-clearing double to put BYU back on top, 4-2, heading to the fourth.
Bronson Larsen destroyed a ball to left field in the bottom of the fifth that cleared the scoreboard and landed on the street beyond Larry H. Miller Field and pushed the BYU lead to 8-3.
After UVU cut the lead to 8-5 with two runs in the sixth, Urry singled in Hayden Nielsen with the bases loaded, and Starr picked up his fourth and fifth RBI of the game with a bases-loaded singled to stretch the Cougar lead back to 11-5.
Senior infielder Dillon Robinson extended his hitting streak to seven games when he doubled in Tanner Chauncey to make it 13-5 BYU. Starr picked up his sixth RBI when he singled in Shaver to make it 15-5 BYU in the bottom of the seventh.
BYU cruised to a 15-6 win and picked up its second victory of the season over the Wolverines.
BYU heads to Los Angeles for a three-game series against Loyola Marymount starting Thursday. All three games will be broadcast live on BYU Radio and KOVO 960 AM.
Zach Brady is a student at BYU and current BYU swimming & diving SID. TWITTER: @Zachbrady7 EMAIL: [email protected].