PROVO, Utah – BYU walked in the tying and go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning, which allowed Gonzaga University baseball claim the weekend series over the Cougars 6-4 at Miller Park Saturday.
The Bulldogs have won six West Coast Conference series and sit at 20-25 overall, 15-9 WCC. The Cougars drop to 18-27, 8-13 in conference.
Gonzaga trailed 4-3 entering the eighth inning and rallied to load the bases with two outs for Mitchell Gunsolus. Cougar closer Brandon Kinser then walked Gunsolus on four consecutive pitches to tie up the ball game. Kinser’s control issues continued as he walked the next batter, Caleb Wood, to give the Zags the lead.
The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a pinch-hit single from Jeffrey Bohling, which scored Beau Bozett.
Left-handed reliever Will Abram (3-1) picked up the win after throwing three scoreless innings. He was the fourth Bulldog pitcher used in the game. Starter Andrew Sopko went 5.2 innings allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out four. Ben Brown faced one batter in his relief appearance in the sixth and David Bigelow recorded the final out in the inning.
The Zags were the first team on the board with a run in the top half of the third inning. Joey Harris and Gunsolus opened the inning with back-to-back singles, which brought Wood to the plate. Wood laid down a sacrifice bunt to pitcher Desmond Poulson but his throw to first base was off line allowing runners to advance and Harris to score.
All the BYU scoring happened in the bottom of the sixth. Brennon Urry, Brock Whitney and CJ Latham each had an RBI double in the frame. Sopko was chased in the inning for Brown and Bigelow who limited the damage.
Wood had two RBI in the game and Brock Slavin had two hits. Payden Cawley Lamb had an RBI but saw his 14-game hitting streak come to an end.
Gonzaga will play its final seven games in Spokane to close the year. UC Davis opens the homestand at Patterson Baseball Complex on May 9 at 6 p.m.