STOCKTON, Calif. – Freshman Zack Peterson hit a grand slam in the 10th inning – the first hit of his career – to give BYU baseball an 11-7 victory over Pacific at Klein Family Field on Thursday.
“It was an incredible effort by every guy on our team tonight," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said.
Danny Gelalich was hit by a pitch, Casey Jacobsen reached on an error and Brian Hsu was intentionally walked to load the bases in the 10th for BYU with one out. Peterson -- 0 for 11 in 2019 -- entered the game in the bottom of the ninth at second base. He stepped up to the plate and blasted a no-doubt grand slam home run to left to give BYU the 11-7 lead and eventually the victory.
The Cougars (27-10, 11-5) trailed Pacific (21-20, 8-11) four separate times throughout the game, including deficits of 3-0, 4-3, 5-4 and 6-5, but fought back each time. BYU finally took its first lead in the top of the ninth with two outs when Abraham Valdez hit a pinch-hit, two-RBI double down the left line.
The Tigers stayed alive with a run in the bottom of the ninth, scoring on a wild pitch with the bases loaded to tie the game at 7-7 before Mitch McIntyre coaxed the last two outs and set up Peterson’s heroics in the 10th.
BYU fell behind quickly early on as Pacific went up 3-0 after one inning. BYU answered back in the top of the third with a Casey Jacobsen double and a Jaren Hall home run – the first of his BYU career - cut into the lead. After a walk by Hsu, Brock Hale knocked a double to score Hsu and tie the game.
Pacific scratched a run across in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead. Two innings later, BYU loaded the bases with two outs and McIntyre came through, hitting a single through the right side to score Noah Hill.
Yet again the Tigers went back on top with a solo home run in the fifth. After a scoreless sixth, a solo home run from Hale tied the game for the third time at 5-5.
With two outs and two on, Pacific moved ahead via a single up the middle to take the 6-5 lead. But the Valdez two-RBI double kept the Cougars alive, eventually leading to the Peterson grand slam in the 10th to win.
Coming in from left field, McIntyre pitched the ninth inning to earn the win and go to 3-1 on the season.
BYU and Pacific will play game two on Friday, April 26, at 6 p.m. PT on TheW.tv, BYU Radio and ESPN 960 AM.