A nail-biter turned in favor of undefeated Hawai'i as it edged out BYU baseball, 3-2, on Thursday evening.
The Rainbow Warriors (5-0) broke the game open with runners on first and second in the eighth inning. A bobbled attempt at third base caused Nate Favero to hurry a wild throw past first as UH plated the go-ahead run for a 3-2 lead.
The Cougars, now 3-2, took the initial lead when designated hitter Jake Brown drew a two-out walk in the second inning. Brown took advantage of David Clawson, belting the first pitch down the baseline to the right field corner to score the first run of the game.
Brown fouled off five-consecutive pitches on a 1-2 count before drilling an RBI double to left field in the third frame to plate Favero who singled on the previous play for a 2-0 lead.
The Rainbow Warriors had stranded runners the first four innings, including three in scoring position, in the first, third and sixth innings.
“Jordan (Wood) gave us another nice start and gave us a chance to win,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said of his starting pitcher. “As a team, we need to learn how to lock down leads and finish games. We gave away way too many at-bats tonight. Offensively, we just weren't ready to play, and execution in the ninth inning was horrendous.”
Brock Hale made a sliding catch in right field in the fifth inning to hold the UH runner who had previously doubled. Then, the Rainbow Warriors ended up tying the game at 2-all.
The Cougars missed a couple of scoring opportunities later in the game. Mitch McIntyre, who has hit safely in all five games, was stranded at third in the fifth frame after advancing there on Daniel Schneemann’s two-out single.
In the ninth inning, the UH relief pitcher dropped a high pop fly by pinch-hitter Mackay Jacobsen for the first of two-consecutive Rainbow Warrior errors. Pinch-runner Cam Richins subbed for Jacobsen and advanced to third on McIntyre’s fly out, but the game ended with BYU runners on the corners after consecutive strikeouts.
The second of the four-game series will be played at 6:35 HST, on Friday, and will be broadcast live by ESPN 960 AM locally and streamed on the internet by its station along with BYU Radio Sirius XM 143.
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].