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BYU battles through tough scenarios to top UVU 13-7

By Darnell Dickson - | Mar 21, 2023

Courtesy BYU Athletics

BYU's Peyton Cole delivers a pitch during a college baseball game against Utah Valley at Miller Park on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

Courtesy BYU Athletics

BYU’s Chad Call takes a swing during a college baseball game against Utah Valley at Miller Park on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

Baseball coaches love to work situations in practice: Runners and first and third with no outs, tying run at third with two outs and so forth.

BYU coach Trent Pratt doesn’t need to put his players through the “bases loaded, nobody out” scenario any time soon. The Cougars had plenty of work on that situation in Tuesday’s 15-7 victory against Utah Valley in front of

1,076 fans at Miller Park.

The Wolverines filled the bags with nobody out twice in the game (in the first and the sixth innings) but came away with just one run, a pair of key moments in BYU’s win.

“We did a good job of getting out of those situations,” Pratt said. “Those aren’t easy situations for pitchers to come into but they came in and did well. That really gave us some momentum to get back in the game. Our offense came through and we had some pitchers give us some zeros.”

Cutter Clawson got in trouble early by hitting the first two batters he faced and walking the third to load the bases. UVU’s Calyn Halverson singled through short to drive in a run and give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead with the bases still loaded. Clawson found his groove and struck out three consecutive batters to end the threat.

In the sixth, BYU led 9-7 but the UVU loaded the bases with a single, a walk and a hit batsman against Carter Foss. Jake Porter got the call from the bullpen and struck out Halverson and Garrett Broussard before inducing Trey Cutchen into a 3-1 ground out to end the inning.

“I’ve been in that situation before,” Porter said. “I just keep telling myself that I’m good enough to be in a situation like and I can get anyone out. Honestly, I just focus on one pitch at a time and try not to think about all the baserunners. I try to give myself the confidence that I need in that situation.”

BYU trailed 1-0, 5-2 and 7-5 before finally taking the lead for good in the fourth. The Cougars pounded out 13 hits including home runs from Ozzie Pratt, Ryan Sepede, Jacob Wilk and Parker Goff, who was making his 2023 debut and hit the first pitch he saw out of the park.

Safea Mauai drove in four runs for the Cougars, including a three-run double in the eighth inning for a 13-7 lead.

“Our offense has been playing pretty well,” Coach Pratt said. “We knew that we can score. They’re working hard and they are all ready when their name is called. We tell them that whatever it is, just make sure you’re prepared.”

Another key moment in the game came in the bottom of the fourth with BYU trailing 7-6. With two outs, UVU committed an error on a ground ball to the pitcher. Austin Deming followed with a double to drive in a pair of runs for an 8-7 lead.

“Our bench was up the whole time even when we were behind,” Porter said. “We all trust our hitters to score 15 runs like they did today. They keep us in ballgames so we just try to have the energy and stay up the whole game, even when we’re down early. We knew they (the hitters) were going to do their job.”

Clawson and Payton Cole struggled through the first five innings but Porter, Ben Hansen and Boston Mabeus allowed just one hit each and held the Wolverines scoreless the rest of the way.

Cole Jordan was 4 for 5 with three doubles for Utah Valley and Daniel Dickinson was 3 for 4.

The Wolverines (1-2 WAC, 12-10 overall) will host Tarleton in a three-game Western Athletic Conference series beginning Friday.

BYU (1-2 WCC, 7-12 overall) returns to West Coast Conference play with a three-game series at Miller Park against Saint Mary’s beginning Thursday.

“We just need to continue to hit the ball well and our pitching staff needs to focus on one thing at a time,” Porter said. “We need to not let things get too far out of hand and not to overthink things. Sometimes as a staff we tend to make something bigger than what it really is. We just need to simplify and be confident.”


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