An error gave BYU baseball a 2-1 walk-off win in nine innings Thursday night at Larry H. Miller Field in the series opener against Santa Clara.
"We didn't hang our heads after not getting hits early," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "We finally put together some good at-bats late in the game. I'm proud of our guys for persevering."
With Brock Hale on third base, Keaton Kringlen hit a hard grounder up the middle that was speared by the Broncos’ second baseman. With Hale frozen, the fielder sent a throw in the turf to first base. It deflected off the first baseman’s glove and Hale sprinted home for the winning run.
BYU improved to 15-13 overall and 4-6 in the West Coast Conference, as Santa Clara fell to 15-12, 4-6.
A pitchers’ duel unfolded during the first four innings, as neither team got on the board. In the fifth, Jake MacNichols knocked a double for the Broncos and scored after a bunt and a passed ball.
The Cougars answered with a run in the sixth, as Hale stroked a single through the middle to plate Daniel Schneemann. Hale’s hit was just the second of the night for BYU. Right before him, Brian Hsu lined a single to right field to move Schneemann from first to third.
Wood got through eight frames thanks in part to a tremendous play by Schneemann on a grounder up the middle. He slid to corral the batted ball and flipped it from his glove to Brennon Anderson, who took the feed at second with his bare hand and fired to first for a double play.
Wood’s night ended with just four hits allowed and five strikeouts on 101 pitches. The only run against him was unearned.
Rhett Parkinson and Drew Zimmerman (2-1) saw the Cougar defense through the ninth inning, as the former punched out two and the latter finished off the Broncos with a groundout.
Hale led off the BYU half of the ninth with a double to dead center. Jake Brown moved Hale to third with a groundout to second to set the stage for Kringlen.
The Cougars wrap up the series with a doubleheader Friday, with game times scheduled for 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The series was supposed to be played in three days, but Saturday's game was moved to Friday due to inclement weather. Fans with tickets for Saturday can use their tickets for any remaining home game.