Michael Beltran had three hits to lead Utah against BYU.
April 19, 2011
PROVO, Utah - A walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted BYU to a 7-6 win over the Utah baseball team on Tuesday evening in a non-conference contest.
With the game tied at six after Utah scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning and BYU countered with a three-run home run off the bat of Dillon Robinson in the bottom of the inning, both teams struggled with stranded runners in the late innings.
BYU looked for the win in the bottom of the ninth after loading the bases with no outs, but reliever Tyler Andersen struck out Robinson, forced Dane Nielsen into an infield pop-up and Stephen Wells into a ground out at second to get out of the jam and force extra innings.
The Utes couldn't get anything going in extra innings after BYU brought in Matthew Neil to pitch the 10th and 11th frames. He struck out four, and several hard-hit balls were sent right to fielders.
Andersen, who was making just his fourth appearance of the season, got out of the 10th inning with a strikeout but BYU pulled out the win in the next inning. Austin Hall hit a one-out double to center field (that was quickly mistaken for a home run by Hall as he started to celebrate while rounding first) before Nielsen singled in the game-winning run for the Cougars.
"It's hard to lose a game like that when there were so many things that happened during the ball game that changed the complexion of the game, whether it's good plays or bad plays," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "Both teams pitched great, pitched poorly, made great defensive plays, had great offense and no offense. I think you saw it all tonight. I was really proud of our effort on a Tuesday night. Too bad we didn't come away with a win with the good play that we had.
"Tyler Andersen showed great poise and made big pitches in unbelievably tough situations. I'm extremely proud of him. He was kinda the guy that was left for the end of the game and he gave it his all."
Utah started Stephen Streich, who went 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs, while striking out seven. Kesley Kondo threw 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on two hits, with four walks. Luke West also made a brief appearance.
Beltran and Cron teamed up in the fifth to pull Utah ahead, 2-1, on an RBI double from Cron that hit high off the top of the wall. However, BYU would take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run home run from Jaycob Brugman.
The Utes countered in the sixth inning on another double high off the wall, this time from Nielsen. He would eventually score on a throwing error, while Mark Moorman, who reached on an error, scored on a single from Beltran.
Although the two teams split the regular-season series, 2-2, Utah takes the baseball portion of the Deseret First Duel series with a 32-25 total run advantage. The game was worth 1.5 points of the series.
Utah plays a non-conference series against Tulane this weekend, beginning on Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. CT.