We’re just going out there and competing and pretty much believing in each other. —Utah right-fielder Erick Migueles
SALT LAKE CITY — With Tuesday’s game against BYU knotted at three in the seventh inning, and runners on first and second, Utes center-fielder Davis Delorefice ripped a line-drive to right. With teammates Oliver Dunn and Braden DeBenedictis halfway home, the umpire signaled a foul ball as Pac-12 replays showed chalk.
Undeterred, Delorefice reached on a BYU throwing error to load the bases. Utah senior Wade Gulden walked as Dunn scored to propel the Utes to a 4-3 win over BYU. The Utes, who took two games from No. 1 rated Oregon State last week, improved to 7-20 after winning three of their last four.
“We’re just going out there and competing and pretty much believing in each other,” Erick Migueles, Utes right-fielder said. “We’re believing in ourselves and we know what we can do and we’re just laying it all out on the field.”
BYU took a 1-0 lead in the third following a two-out single from Noah Hill, a walk from Brennon Anderson before center-fielder Jarrett Perns drove in a run with a single to left.
After stranding four runners through the first three innings, Utah, with one in the fourth, got back-to-back singles from Gulden and Shea Kramer. Into the box stepped Migueles, who homered twice in Saturday’s win over Oregon State. The junior ripped a Burrup pitch over the right-field wall as the Utes took a 3-1 lead.
"He’s swinging it good, and I think he’s seeing the ball well,” Utah coach Bill Kinneberg said. “Our philosophy is line drives, but if you put a good swing on it, it will go, and he’s got some pop.”
The Cougars answered in the fifth, chasing Utah starter Riley Pierce after 65 pitches. Hill singled to right, Anderson walked and Daniel Schneemann was hit by a Josh Lapiana pitch to load the bases. BYU first baseman Brian Hsu singled to left, driving in Hill and Anderson to tie the game at 3-3.
The Cougars threatened again in the seventh, with Hill getting his third hit of the night. BYU dialed up a hit-and-run, with Hill reaching third and Perns reaching second following a bloop single to right. Cougar coach Mike Littlewood called for a double-steal with Schneemann at bat. The play backfired though when the Cougar shortstop didn’t execute the bunt, with Perns eventually being tagged out at third.
“We were actually trying to steal two runs right there, and with a good bunt I think we would have gotten it,” Littlewood said. “It’s a high risk, high-reward play, and tonight it backfired.”
Perns and Hill each recorded three hits for the Cougars, with Burrup going 5 2/3 innings to take the loss.
Migueles led the Utes, driving in three runs while DaShawn Keirsey Jr. recorded two hits. The Utes used four pitchers with Lapiana getting the win and Trenton Stoltz picking up the save with a one-pitch effort in the ninth.
“Pierce got the start tonight and we were just trying to get him some innings as he’s coming back from surgery,” Kinneberg said. “I thought Austin Moore was outstanding in the last few innings and needed a little help. Kudos to our pitching, they were outstanding today."
Correction: The original version of this story wrongly identified the Utah baseball coach. His name is Bill Kinneberg, not Mike Kinneberg.