A seven-game losing streak ended Thursday as BYU baseball opened its three-game series at San Francisco with a 9-2 victory.
The Cougars, 20-24 overall and 9-13 in the West Coast Conference, pounded 18 hits and got good pitching efforts from starter Jordan Wood and reliever Rhett Parkinson. Wood improved his record to 4-4, while Parkinson picked up his first save of the season.
BYU never trailed in the game and kept its hopes alive for a possible WCC tournament berth.
Catcher David Clawson singled the first pitch of the second inning off the right-field wall and advanced to third on Casey Jacobsen’s one-out single up the middle. Clawson plated BYU’s first run when Brennon Anderson got aboard on a high throw from the Dons’ shortstop.
Brock Hale led off with a double to left field and scored when Nate Favero singled for the second time to right field for a 2-0 lead in the third.
Jacobsen also singled for the second time with one out in the fourth and stole second base. That set him up to score the Cougars’ third run off a Koby Kelton single to center field.
Wood struggled in the sixth, surrendering three-consecutive walks resulting in a pair of runs scoring off a one-out double. He was effective enough, striking out six in as many innings before being relieved by Rhett Parkinson.
Hale answered getting those runs back with a two-run homer on the heels of Daniel Schneemann’s single to the hole at shortstop. Hale’s dinger was the first homer for BYU in six games. Then back-to-back doubles by Favero and Keaton Kringlen resulted in the sixth Cougar run. Mitch McIntyre doubled in Kringlen.
Hale, who was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, threw out Ross Puskarich after trying to extend his hit to a double in the right field corner to lead off the eighth.
Favero got his fourth hit of the afternoon in the ninth and scored after Kringlen and Clawson singled.
The Dons, now 25-25 and 14-11, host BYU in game two on Friday afternoon.