Corey Shimada extended his hitting streak to 22 games Friday night.
May 18, 2007
PROVO, Utah - For the second consecutive night, the University of Utah baseball team scored the first four runs of its game against BYU Friday night at Miller Field. But for the second consecutive night, it was the Cougars who scored the next five, taking another 5-4 win.
This time the game was decided in the bottom of the ninth, when BYU right fielder Leon Johnson hammered a one-out, 2-1 offering from Utah closer to deep right-center field for a walk-off home run.
Just like Thursday night's game, Utah scored four runs in the first. But again, just like Thursday night, the BYU starting pitcher - Jordan Muir this time - settled down and kept his team in the contest long enough for the offense to get things going.
In the top of the first, Utah (24-28, 12-11 MWC) got a leadoff double from centerfielder Nate Burnham and a bunt single from second baseman Corey Shimada got things started. Burnham scored when Dustin Hennis reached on an error. Shimada later scored on a bases-loaded walk to designated hitter Bret Baldwin. Hennis and right fielder John Welsh both scored on a double off the bat of catcher Jesse Shriner.
BYU (34-18, 16-7 MWC) got a single run back in the bottom of the frame. Johnson reached on an error, stole second and scored on a Stephen Wells single to make it 4-1. The Cougars pulled within one in the fourth. Second baseman Kent Walton homered to lead off the inning and third baseman Steve Parker singled and later scored on a sac fly to make it 4-3.
BYU tied things in the seventh, when Johnson scored from third on a potential double-play ball that left fielder Apana Nakayama beat out on a controversial play at first base. That set up Johnson's heroics in the bottom of the ninth. Johnson scored three of the Cougars' five runs. The game-winning homer was the only hit he had.
Despite the loss, Utah secured the No. 3 seed in next week's MWC Tournament by virtue of TCU's win over New Mexico Friday night.
Utah and BYU will wrap up their three-game series Sunday at 4 p.m. at Miller Park.