Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo
Jordan Wood releases a pitch. Wood matched the four-hitter thrown by the opposing starter, but Saint Mary's came from behind to win, 2-1, with a walk-off single.

Another frustrating walk-off hit led to a 2-1 defeat of BYU baseball on Thursday as it fell to Saint Mary’s College in a pitchers' duel.

Gael pinch-hitter Ryan Novis singled to center field with two aboard in the ninth inning to break a 1-1 deadlock. Last Tuesday, the Cougars lost a 1-0 game from a walk-off double at Cal.

Both teams got super pitching, but in the end, it was Gael reliever Ty Madrigal earning his second win of the year in two innings of relief. SMC, now 27-18 and 11-8 in the West Coast Conference, got a dozen strikeouts from Kevin Milam in seven innings from a hard slider, hard curve and swing-and-miss changeup paired with a low 90s fastball.

BYU starter Jordan Wood matched Milam’s four-hit outing but went eight innings. However, his reliever Blake Inouye (1-5) was tagged with the loss. Among the key Cougar defensive plays was a 6-4-3 double play to end the sixth inning.

The Cougars took a 1-0 advantage off an unearned run in the first inning and held that lead until the eighth when Jackson Thoreson's seemingly routine fly ball sailed over the center field fence to knot the score.

The initial lead came when BYU’s Brennon Anderson led off the first inning with a double to right center field in the first inning and advanced to third on a fielding error. A high-bouncing groundout by Brock Hale to third scored Anderson but did not allow SMC to turn a double play.

BYU missed on a couple other scoring opportunities in the fourth and seventh innings. In the fourth frame, Nate Favero and David Clawson drew walks before Daniel Scheemann’s two-out single to load the bases, but Milam fanned his ninth victim.

In the seventh, Schneemann and Mitch McIntyre both singled to put two Cougars on with two out, but Milam recorded his 12th strikeout.

The Cougars, now 19-21 overall and 8-11 in WCC, play the second of a three-game series on Friday afternoon against the Gaels.

Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at byucougars.com/staff/athletics/ralph-zobell or contact him at [email protected].