A 6-1 record is the best start in BYU baseball history after its 4-3 victory in 10 innings and a 10-5 loss at Samford University on Friday.
The split doubleheader leaves host Samford with a 5-2 record.
Eric Urry swatted a grand slam home run in the fourth inning of the nightcap with no outs over the right field fence. That slam gave BYU a 4-1 lead.
Samford’s Heath Quinn, one of three preseason All-Americans all batting in the heart of the Bulldog lineup, belted three home runs in the nightcap and a fourth dinger in the opener. Quinn’s last homer, a three-run shot, tied game two at 5-all in the seventh.
The Bulldogs broke that deadlock with a five-run eighth off three Cougar relievers.
The drama from the opener hit its apex in the bottom of the 10th when reliever Mason Marshall threw six-straight strikes en route to fanning the Bulldogs in order to secure the win.
Marshall came in relief for the last out of the ninth before the Cougars broke the 3-3 deadlock.
In the top of the 10th, Colton Shaver knocked a one-out double off the wall in left-center. He was replaced by pinch runner Court Iorg who scored the winning run after Brennon Anderson hit a two-out single to center field.
“What an incredible team win,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said after game one. “We made Samford’s pitching staff work for every out they got in game one. Maverik (Buffo) was solid on the mound today and gave us a chance to win. Brennon (Anderson) came up big with his two-out RBI in the 10th and Riley (Gates) and Mason were fantastic out of the pen.“
Anderson’s single wasn’t the only big two-out hit of the opener. In the fourth inning, back-to-back doubles with two outs by Larsen and Shaver closed the score to 2-1. BYU tied the game at 2-2 with two outs when Kyle Dean scored on a wild pitch.
Larsen tied the game at 3-3 in the eighth when he scored on a ground-out after leading off the inning with a walk.
"Hayden (Rogers) had a hard time with his command tonight," Littlewood said of BYU's starter in game two. "Overall it was a good day for us. We need to get some rest and come back ready to finish the series Saturday."
BYU and Samford complete the four-game series Saturday afternoon in a game that can be followed through a live stat link on BYU's athletic website. No audio will be available for game four.