Cal State Northridge made a furious comeback to claim a 10-8 victory on Monday afternoon over BYU baseball.
BYU (17-19 overall) got a great outing from starting pitcher Michael Rucker who handcuffed CSUN (22-13) through six-plus innings. Then, the Matador bats caught fire.
“Mike Rucker did an outstanding job and deserved the win,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “Our hitters got off to a slow start but put up enough runs to win a ball game. When we score eight runs we should win games.
“We had a couple guys that weren't locked in mentally and it ended up costing us a ball game. We need to do a better job of getting killer instinct and finishing games.”
The Cougars trailed 2-0, then took an 8-2 lead, which evaporated in the seventh and eighth innings. The Matadors belted a three-run homer, followed by a two-run blast in the six-run eighth frame for the difference.
The Cougars got a home run of their own when freshman Colton Shaver slammed his sixth of the season, a solo over left field for the team’s first run of the afternoon. Then, teammate Eric Urry got aboard on an error and scored on Cole Wilstead’s single to tie game at 2-2 in the fourth.
“Colton (Shaver) continues to impress me by his approach at the plate,” Littlewood said. “I felt like we had a very good offensive day but we need to pitch, hit and play defense for nine innings at this level.”
Hayden Nielsen singled off a new CSUN pitcher to score Brennon Lund, who stole third after knocking a ground-rule double for a 5-2 lead to start the four-run seventh. Nielsen stole second, so Robinson was intentionally walked, setting up Shaver for a one-run double with two out and a 6-2 lead. Urry doubled Robinson and Shaver home off a new pitcher for an 8-2 margin.
Four Cougars extended their hitting streaks: Lund (16 games), Urry (10), Bronson Larsen (nine) and Chauncey (eight).
The Cougars are now idle on the field because of final exams and next host Utah on Tuesday, April 21.
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].