Utah turned three singles and a walk into four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn a 6-3 victory against BYU at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City on Thursday.
Utah scored first with a run in the fourth inning. Brock Rudy scored on Chase Fernlund’s single for a 1-0 lead.
BYU tied the game in the fifth when Mitch McIntyre doubled in Abe Valdez. The Cougars took a 2-1 lead in the seventh when Peyton Cole scored on a wild pitch but Utah tallied a run in the seventh to tie the game at 2.
After Utah had its big eighth inning, McIntyre tripled in Valdez to cut the deficit to 6-3 with two outs. Josh Cowden grounded out to second to end the game.
McIntyre was 3 of 4 for BYU (3-9) and drove in two runs. The Cougars managed just three other hits, including doubles from Hayden Leatham, Valdez and Cole.
Easton Walker started and pitched four innings for BYU. McKade Johnson took the loss.
Utah banged out 13 hits, including two each for Jaylon McLaughlin, Jayden Kieman, Tyler Thompson, Rudy and Fernlund. Matthew Sox was the winner on the mound for the Utes (2-8).
BYU and Utah will play Game 2 of their three-game set on Friday at 3 p.m. at Smith’s Ballpark. The finale of the series will be at Miller Park in Provo on Saturday, also at 3 p.m.