A pair of leadoff home runs along with 15 strikeouts made the difference for the University of Portland defeating BYU, 4-3, on Thursday.
Cody Hawken and Daniel Lopez knocked the second pitch of the fourth and sixth innings as the Pilots tied, then grabbed the eventual lead. The win improved the Pilots record to 12-19 overall and 5-8 in the West Coast Conference, while BYU is now 17-14 and 6-7.
“Jordan (Wood) didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but he pitched his butt off and competed for us,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “Offensively, we had a lot of selfish at-bats and couldn’t get a big hit. We had way too many strikeouts and poor at-bats.”
The Cougars took the initial lead when Brock Hale led off with a short-hop double off the left-field wall and scored on Nate Favero’s single to right field in the second inning.
In the third frame, Keaton Kringlen made the catch in left field for out number two on a sacrifice fly, which gave Portland a 2-1 lead. Kringlen then threw to second on an appeal when the Pilot runner left early on the tag to complete an inning-ending double play.
BYU regained the lead at 3-2 in the fourth when the Pilot shortstop’s rushed throwing error allowed Kringlen and Jake Brown, who had doubled, to score.
That lead was short-lived when UP’s Hawken hammered his homer to left. Then, Lopez’s dinger in the sixth gave the Pilots a 4-3 lead.
The two teams play the second of a three-game series on Friday evening.