SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A two-run fifth inning—along with a combined four-hitter by Cougar pitching duo Jack Sterner and Bryce Robison—gave BYU baseball a 3-1 victory over Santa Clara in the final game of the WCC series on Saturday.
“This is a veteran league and there are a lot of teams that can really play,” said BYU head coach Mike Littlewood. “We got great pitching today and the guys played outstanding defense behind them. It was a hard-fought win and I’m really proud of the way we played as a team.”
Santa Clara (11-15, 4-5) got on the board early in the first inning with a leadoff double by Coleman Brigman, who later came around to score and give the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
BYU (9-15, 5-4) tied the game up in the top of the fourth with a walk and stolen base by Hunter Swapp, followed by a single up the middle from Cooper Vest to put runners on the corners. A double to rightfield by Mitch McIntyre scored Swapp and tied the game at 1-1.
After scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, Bryan Call reached on an infield error in the top of the seventh. After a Josh Cowden walk, Brock Watkins moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt to give the Cougars runners at second and third with one out. A safety squeeze down the first-base line by Peyton Cole gave the Cougars the go-ahead run. An intentional walk to Swapp loaded the bases and an infield single to second base by Vest gave the Cougars a 3-1 advantage.
A two-run cushion was more than Robison would need as he scattered just two hits over the final four innings to earn the victory for BYU.
“Sterner gave us a great start and really battled a tough Santa Clara lineup for five innings,” said Littlewood. “Robison came in and was lights out. He throws in the low 90s, but his changeup is so hard to hit. He was impressive closing out the win for us today.”
BYU returns to Miller Park next week for a three-game series with conference foe Portland, April 8-10. The Thursday and Friday games are set for 6 p.m. MDT, with the Saturday matchup at 1 p.m. MDT.
All three games will be broadcast live on the BYUtv App. Audio broadcasts will also be available on the BYU Sports Network—BYU Radio FM 107.9, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app. Ticket information can be found at BYUtickets.com.
Women’s soccer earns draw with Saint Mary’s
MORAGA, Calif. — No. 17 BYU women’s soccer tied 1-1 after two overtimes at Saint Mary’s Saturday afternoon.
This was the first double overtime game of the season for the Cougars and the first draw. BYU is now 9-3-1 overall, 5-1-1in WCC play.
“Saint Mary’s was just beating us to the ball and putting more pressure, hitting us hard, and we just couldn’t settle the ball down,” said BYU head coach Jen Rockwood. “We’re very fortunate to come up with the tie, but that’s certainly nothing that we’re willing to accept, and we’re disappointed with our performance. We’ll have to get back to work and try and recoup and recover and be ready.”
Cameron Tucker was the only Cougar to score, putting the ball into the net in the 86th minute to tie the game. Tucker is now on a four game goal streak, scoring in every game extending back to the March 24 win at San Diego.
Overall, BYU had 18 shots, eight of those on goal, and nine corner kicks. Saint Mary’s came up with nine total shots, three on goal with one settling in past BYU keeper Cassidy Smith for a goal.
There were no goals scored in the first 45 min of the game, with 11 shots taken by both teams.
BYU started off the game aggressive, quickly securing a corner kick in the third minute. Momentum then shifted in the Gaels’ favor, as their defense took control of the ball.
Tucker had a chance on breakaway in the 28th minute, using her speed to beat a defender and going one on one with the keeper. Tucker shot the ball high over the crossbar and out of play.
BYU had four corner kicks, six shots, and two saves to end the first half.
The 57th minute brought a pause due to a SMC injury. The Cougars took advantage of the brief break, regrouping and getting Mikayla Colohan a shot on goal soon after.
Both teams remained scoreless until the 80th minute. Saint Mary’s then struck first, from a corner kick that deflected off of a BYU defender and into the back of the net.
Tucker followed up in the 86th minute, scoring the Cougar’s only goal of the day, with just four minutes left in regulation time.
BYU had three shots by Tucker, Shepherd and McCarthy in the first overtime.
For the first time in the 2021 season, a second overtime was needed for the Cougars. BYU’s final corner kick, in the 109th minute, fell short, ending the game 1-1.
The Cougars will remain on the road for their next two games, traveling to Pepperdine April 10 and 12. Kickoff will begin at 1 p.m. PDT April 10 and 3 p.m. PDT April 12. Both games will be available on BYU Radio.
School records fall for Cougar track
EUGENE, Ore. — Javelin thrower Cameron Bates and distance runner Conner Mantz both broke BYU track and field records as 11 Cougars achieved all-time marks at the Hayward Premiere and UVU Invitational this weekend.
Bates launched his javelin 77.17m/253-2 to pass the previous program record of 75.44m/247-6, set nearly 35 years ago by Soren Tallhem in 1986. The mark meets the Olympic standard and qualifies Bates to compete at U.S. Olympic Trials.
“Cam Bates just unleashed with his 77.17-meter throw,” said BYU director of track and field Ed Eyestone. “It was a PR by more than 6 meters and broke the school record by nearly 2 meters. To be able to do it where the trials will be held will give him a load of confidence for both the NCAA Championships and the Olympic Trials. Nik Arrhenius is doing some great things with our javelin crew right now, so we’re excited about that.”
Mantz wasted no time in adding another historical performance to his resume in his first track and field race since winning the individual national title at the 2020 NCAA Cross Country Championships last month. The All-American ran a 13:24.78 in the men’s 5000m invitational to pass Josh Rohatinsky (13:25.53 — 2007) and set a new school record.