A bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Brock Hale plated Mitch McIntyre in the 10th inning Friday for a 4-3 BYU victory over Hawai`i.
Sparring for six scoreless innings, the Cougars finally got on top and rode the arms of relievers Riley Gates, Jake Suddreth and Drew Zimmermann to hand the Rainbow Warriors their first loss of the season. Gates was the winning pitcher but left the game in the 10th because of shoulder tightness, and Suddreth came in for the save.
“This was a very quality win for our program,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “It was a team effort and the guys battled for 10 straight innings. The difference from tonight and last night was execution and playing sound fundamental baseball. I was also proud of Jake Suddreth for coming out of the pen with a surprise appearance when Riley experienced some shoulder tenderness.”
Littlewood pulled the right punches throughout the contest, subbing defensive specialist Jarrett Perns for Keaton Kringlen in left field in the ninth. Perns made a game-saving catch for the third out. Then, Jake Brown pinch-hit for Perns in the 10th and worked a walk on balls to load the bases.
“I was really proud of three of our freshmen that stepped up today: Ryan Brady and Drew Zimmerman on the mound, and Mitch McIntyre at the plate,” Littlewood said. “Jake Brown also put together a great pinch-hit at-bat for us tonight. Mitch, Brennon (Anderson) and (Daniel) Schneemann all executed on the night and that was really the difference.”
Earlier, in the fifth inning, Zimmerman took the mound with two runners aboard and one out. Brennon Anderson, Daniel Schneemann and Nate Favero combined for a double play to get BYU out of the jam.
The Rainbow Warriors had jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning, starting with a solo homer by Adam Fogel to the delight of most of the 2,804 fans.
BYU took a temporary 3-2 lead in the third inning. David Clawson scored the Cougars’ first run, set up by his leadoff single, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. McIntyre walked, followed by a one-run double by Anderson, which caromed off the wall a couple of feet inside the right-field line at the corner.
McIntyre scored after Clawson on a high, wild pitch to tie the game at 2-2. Anderson scored the go-ahead run when Schneemann’s bunt forced the pitcher to go to first base. However, UH tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third.
The Cougars take their 4-2 record into a Saturday doubleheader at noon HST, against Hawai’i, now 5-1. The first game of the twin bill will be broadcast live locally and streamed on ESPN Radio 960.