The BYU baseball team finds itself on the brink of elimination in the West Coast Conference Tournament.
While the Cougars got a strong pitching performance from senior starter Brady Corless, BYU squandered that effort by struggling at the plate.
The No. 3 seeded Cougars fell to No. 2 Loyola Marymount, 3-2, late Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, California.
In the opening game of the WCC Tournament, top-seed Gonzaga blasted No. 4 Saint Mary’s, 11-3.
BYU will face Saint Mary’s Friday at 1 p.m. MDT (TheW.tv) in an elimination game.
Gonzaga and LMU will square off Friday at 4:30 p.m. MDT in the championship bracket. The winner of the first game will take on the loser of the second contest.
Thursday, the Cougars drew seven walks but couldn't take advantage of scoring opportunities. BYU’s offense produced just three hits against the Lions.
In the sixth inning, the Cougars drew four consecutive walks but could only push one run across the plate and left the bases loaded. At that point, BYU trailed 3-2.
In the bottom of the eighth, LMU loaded the bases but couldn’t score as BYU recorded an inning-ending double play. In the top of the ninth, the Cougars went down in order to end the game.
Corless (6-1) pitched seven solid innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out eight and walking three. It marked his first loss of the season.
LMU's Niko Decolati went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
Lion starter Brenton Arriaga improved to 7-2 on the year. Codie Paiva earned the save for LMU.
The Cougars lost their fourth consecutive game, including getting swept last weekend at Gonzaga. BYU must win Friday to keep its season alive.