PROVO, Utah - In its first-ever trip to Provo, Santa Clara baseball fell to BYU by a final of 8-6. The Cougars used a four-run bottom of the ninth to erase a two-run deficit and come out on top. The loss moves Santa Clara to 24-24 overall and 3-16 in the WCC while BYU is now 20-24 overall and 8-11 in conference play.
RHP Tommy Nance (4-4; 3.74) made the start for the Broncos and picked up a no-decision in 7.0 innings of work. He allowed four runs, three earned, on 10 hits with two strikeouts and no walks. RHP Paul Twining (5-6; 3.32) picked up the loss while allowing four runs in 1.0 inning of relief. At the plate, LF Pat Stover and CF Matt Ozanne each had three hits, scored two runs and had one RBI.
The two teams play again tomorrow, Fri., May 18 at 5 p.m. and again Sat., May 19 at 12 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on BYUTV.
Santa Clara struck first in the top of the second when Stover led off with a single to center and stole second with DH T.J. Braff at the plate. Braff flied out and 1B Andrew Biancardi singled to left to put runners on the corners. After a foul out by Ozanne, C Zach Looney singled through the right side to bring in the first run of the game. SS Justin Viele was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but 2B Greg Harisis grounded out to end the inning with just one run coming across.
BYU came back in the bottom of the second with back-to-back lead off singles. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, 1B Brock Whitney singled to center field to bring in a run before a balk by Nance gave the Cougars the 2-1 lead. Whitney moved to third on a passed ball and 2B Adam Law singled to left field to bring in the third run of the inning. Nance got out of the inning with a pick off and a ground out.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Ozanne crushed a home run to center field to cut the BYU lead to 3-2.
The Broncos put up a four-spot in the top of the six. RF Lucas Herbst reached on an error by the pitcher and came in to score on a double to center by Stover. Braff flied out to center but the ball was deep enough to advance Stover to third and he scored on a sac fly by Biancardi. Ozanne singled, Looney was hit by a pitch and Viele got an infield single to load the bases before Harisis singled to right to bring in two more Bronco runs. 3B Evan Peters was unable to extend the inning as he popped out to shortstop.
SS Tanner Chauncey led-off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to left field to make the score 6-4. Nance gave up a hit to the next batter but settled down to escape the inning with only one run scoring.
With Twining now on the mound, DH Alex Wolfe led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to left-center and C Wes Guenther followed with a single of his own. After a pop up back to the pitcher, Twining loaded the bases by walking Law. CF Stephen Wells hit into a fielder's choice to keep the bases loaded with two outs for RF Jaycob Brugman. On a 2-2 pitch, Brugman hit a walk-off grand slam to left-center to give BYU the 8-6 win.