Key hitting and pitching came through Monday for BYU baseball to claim the season’s first series at CSUN with a 10-8 victory.
David Clawson’s two-out single drove in Brennon Anderson for the eventual winning run in the eighth inning, which enabled relievers Bo Burrup and Drew Zimmerman to secure the win and a save, respectively.
“Our guys did a nice job today fighting through tough weather conditions and a tough team,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “Our pitching staff did a nice job piecing together nine innings. I was especially proud of Blake Inouye and his 3.2 innings. Those innings bridged the gap, kept the game close and allowed us to match up late.”
The Cougars began with a 5-0 lead in the first inning, which helped Oklahoma transfer Kenny Saenz to pitch effectively for most of the first three innings.
The crucial hit in that first inning came when Nate Favero belted a two-out, two-run double to left field to plate Keaton Kringlen and Brock Hale. Then, Clawson’s pop fly plopped just inside the left field foul line to score Favero.
Brian Hsu singled for BYU’s fifth-consecutive hit in the first inning before Mackay Jacobsen was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Two more runs scored on Mitch McIntyre’s single to shallow center field.
Matador designated hitter Albee Weiss belted a three-run homer, his third dinger of the series, in the fourth inning to tie the game at 5-all to chase Saenz from the mound.
McIntyre, a freshman from Tooele, led off the eighth with a home run to the right-center gap to tie the game at 7-7 after the Matadors had taken their first lead of the game.
“It was great to get production again from No. 7 and No. 9 in our lineup, especially Mitch McIntyre with three hits and his first home run. He could be a special player one day. It's a great feeling to know your lineup can put up runs all throughout the lineup. This was a great series win for us against a good opponent on their home field.”
BYU regained the lead in the four-run eighth when Clawson got his game-winning hit. Favero scored on Brian Hsu’s two-out double to left field, but Clawson was thrown out with a hard slide into the catcher at home plate as the Cougars took a 10-7 lead.
That lead came while Burrup was the pitcher of record, and he was replaced by freshman right-handers Walker Sigman, a Texan, and Zimmerman, from Lehi. Zimmerman replaced Sigman mid-count and got the CSUN batter to fly out on the next pitch before striking out the final Matador swinging to end the game.
The Cougars, now 3-1 after downing the Matadors (1-3), head to Hawai'i for a four-game series starting on Thursday. Games two and three of the series at Hawai’i will be broadcast live locally over ESPN Radio 960 AM, with game two also being streamed by BYU Radio and heard on Sirius XM 143.