Portland’s Pilots defeated BYU, 8-6, to claim the series on Saturday and improve their record to 13-20 overall and 6-9 in the West Coast Conference.
The Cougars had leads of 2-0 and 4-2 escape, surrendering walks and committing uncharacteristic overthrows and errors that led to Pilot runs in the three-run third and four-run fourth innings.
BYU got on the scoreboard first when Nate Favero got the advance sign from coach Mike Littlewood on Mitch McIntyre’s single, the third-consecutive one-out hit of the second inning. Jarrett Perns executed a safety squeeze bunt past the pitcher for the fourth single of the frame to plate Keaton Kringlen for a 2-0 lead.
After falling behind 4-2 in the fourth inning, Favero hit a two-out double to the gap in left-center and scored on the ensuing single by Kringlen to center field. Noah Hill belted a fastball on his first pitch for a double to drive in Kringlen and Perns to claim BYU’s last lead, 5-4.
The only other run for BYU came in the fifth frame when Daniel Schneemann broke his hitting slump with a single to left field, advanced on Hale’s only hit of the day and scored on Favero’s groundout.
A last-ditch effort failed in the ninth with two aboard and one out when pinch-runner Paxton Larson did not get the benefit of an interference call. Larson retreated back to second base on a pop-up to the pitcher whose throw sailed into the outfield, but he tripped over the shortstop and was ruled out at third.
The Cougars, now 18-15 overall and 7-8 in the West Coast Conference, take a break from league action, playing only one game this coming week. On Tuesday night, BYU plays the University of Arizona in Tucson in a game televised live by the Pac-12 TV Network.