Colton Shaver's homer in the seven-run second inning and his five RBIs of the night led BYU baseball past San Francisco in a 14-4 victory Thursday night at Miller Park.
The Cougar victory stopped a nine-game conference win streak for the first-place Dons (22-21, 14-5 West Coast Conference). The win also brought BYU (19-19, 9-7 WWC) back to .500 for the second time this season.
"I love the way our guys came out offensively," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "I like the way that Kolton (Mahoney) battled through some jams to give us a chance to widen the gaps. Our hitters did an incredible job making San Francisco work at every at bat. Our theme today was take the fight to those guys, and I think we really did that today."
Shaver led the way for the Cougars with his home run and three hits while Brennon Lund added four RBIs and a home run, both batting 3-for-5 on the evening. Kolton Mahoney evened his record at 4-4, throwing 114 pitches in six innings. Lund extended his hitting streak to 18 games while Bronson Larsen's was extended to 11.
Lund started things off for BYU in the bottom of the first with his first collegiate home run to give the Cougars an early 1-0 lead. Shaver then picked up an RBI single, allowing Dillon Robinson to score, before getting out at second base to end the inning.
Larsen and Cole Wilstead each singled to get on base in the bottom of the second before Derrick Whitney singled to load the bases. An error from the Dons' Nico Giarratano allowed Lund to reach base with two BYU players scoring. A two-out triple by Robinson allowed a third Cougar to score and extend their lead to 5-0. A second error from the Dons allowed Chauncey to get a fielder's choice to bring two more BYU players back home and up the advantage to seven. Shaver followed the at bat with his ninth home run of the season, bringing the score to 9-0 at the end of the second. The Cougars batted through their order in the inning.
After a scoreless third inning, San Francisco singled in a run with the bases loaded for its first run of the game. The Dons' Connor Hofmann followed by knocking a two-run single to left field to make the score 9-3.
A single from Lund started the bottom of the fourth for BYU. Hayden Nielsen collected the teams' ninth run of the game before a sacrifice bunt put two Cougars into scoring position. Robinson followed with an RBI single to score a run. Shaver matched that with a pair of RBIs of his own as the next at bat, making the score 12-3.
Whitney led things off for BYU in the fifth with a triple driven down the middle all the way to the fence. Another Lund single scored Whitney to give the Cougars a double-digit lead at 13-3.
Following another scoreless inning in the sixth, San Francisco's Brendan Hendrik homered to right field in the seventh for the Dons' eighth hit of the game. The score remained 13-4 by the seventh-inning stretch.
With the bases loaded for BYU in the eighth, Eric Urry sent a ball out to right field, allowing a run to score. Three quick outs ensued in the top of the ninth, ending the game at 14-4.
The Cougars return to Miller Park on Friday at 6 p.m. MDT, for the second of the three-game series against the Dons. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv, as well as KOVO 960 AM.
Royce Hinton is the men's and women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.