Nationally-ranked Auburn swept BYU baseball in a Saturday doubleheader, 21-4 and 9-5.
The first game against the No. 18 Tigers, now 12-0, got out of control early. In the second of the twin bill, the Cougars were down 8-1, then closed the gap to 8-4 by the sixth inning.
“It makes for a long day when your two starters in a doubleheader go a combined three innings,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “Auburn is a very good team and they beat up our pitching staff today."
In game one, the Cougars jumped out to their only lead of the day when Daniel Schneemann tripled in the first inning to the right field corner and teammate Keaton Kringlen walked. With two out, Brock Hale battled to a full count then homered on the eighth pitch thrown to him with a blast over the angled wall in left field for a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first frame, the Tigers scored seven runs and never looked back as BYU rotated through seven pitchers to stop the 20-hit barrage. Auburn pounded eight doubles, which enabled most of the 12 batters and one hit batsman to score.
“There were a lot of disappointments today, but if there was a silver lining it would have to be the way Brock (Hale) swung it and the performance of Alex Perron,” Littlewood said. “We won't see a team like Auburn the rest of the year and hopefully we can take a few positives from the series and build on things.”
Hale ended up hitting 4-for-4 in game one, including a double. In the nightcap, Hale pounded another dinger to left field in the fourth inning for BYU’s first run. Hale raised his batting average from .176 to .279 in the doubleheader.
Back-to-back doubles by Nate Favero and Hale accounted for the Cougars’ second run in the sixth inning of game two. Brian Hsu doubled in Hale, then scored later from third on a balk with the bases loaded as the Cougars batted around their lineup, drawing close at 8-4.
The Cougars had their chances to get back in the nightcap, but they left the bases loaded in the sixth and eighth innings.
Starting left-handers Hayden Rogers (2-1) and Kenny Saenz (0-2) were the pitchers of record for BYU in the doubleheader. Transfer Perron, the third pitcher the Cougars used in the nightcap, ended up being the most effective of the day for BYU. He threw a shutout inning of relief in game one and 3 and 2/3 innings in game two.
BYU, now 5-6, prepares for its home opener in a three-game series starting Thursday evening against Division I foe Nebraska Omaha.