BYU baseball took an early 3-0 lead and held on to defeat Dixie State 3-2 Tuesday afternoon at Miller Park.
“It’s all about making plays,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “I think the guys are really committed to getting better every day. They’re committed to pushing the reset button when they need to and moving forward. They’ve had a really good attitude the past few games and it showed in the way we stayed together tonight.”
The win avenged an earlier loss. The Cougars traveled to Saint George on March 16 and lost to the Trailblazers 5-4, the first time BYU baseball had ever lost to Dixie State. It was also the Trailblazers’ first Division I home victory.
BYU (12-20, 6-6) opened the scoring in the bottom of the third with a two-run shot from Mitch McIntyre, who hit a breaking ball over the wall in right. Brock Watkins had reached on a walk to open the innings and McIntyre’s homer gave the Cougars an early 2-0 lead.
Austin Deming added a run for BYU in the bottom of the fourth, scoring from third on a throwing error to first as Watkins reached base with two outs. Deming had doubled deep down the left field line before reaching third on a balk.
The Trailblazers (11-22, 9-11) got on the board in the top of the fifth with a sac fly, cutting the Cougars’ lead to 3-1. Dixie State added another run on an RBI single to center field in the top of the seventh to cut its deficit to one, 3-2.
The Trailblazers threatened in the top of the ninth with a leadoff single, but closer Reid McLaughlin and BYU’s defense held on with a pair of groundouts and a fly out to secure the 3-2 win.
It was a staff day for the Cougars, who used 10 different pitchers and tallied 10 strikeouts on the afternoon. Cy Nielson got the win, striking out a pair of batters in one inning on the mound. McLaughlin, who came on to pitch the ninth inning, recorded the save.
BYU hits the road for a three-game series with Gonzaga on Thursday-Saturday, April 22-24, at Patterson Complex in Spokane, Washington. All three games are slated to start at 6 p.m. PDT. The three matchups will be streamed live on the WCC Network with audio broadcasts will be available on the BYU Sports Network—BYU Radio FM 107.7, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app.