Ralph R. Zobell | Posted: 20 Feb 2014 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
First victory of season comes in Kleberg Bank Classic
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (February 20, 2014)--Battery mates Desmond Poulson and Bronson Larsen combined for BYU's first victory of the season Thursday, but Texas A&M-Corpus Christi came back to win the nightcap.
BYU (1-5) achieved a 10-2 victory in the opener of the Kleberg Bank Classic at Whataburger Field, but the Islanders (3-4) claimed the second of a twin bill, 3-1.
Poulson threw eight effective innings on 106 pitches, including stellar third and fourth frames en route to his 15th career win at BYU.
“Desmond was fantastic today,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “He kept them off balance.”
The right-handed co-captain gave the Cougars a needed spark when he struck out an Islander for the first out after A&M-Corpus Christi tied the game 1-1 in the fourth. The next batter lined out to Poulson and he completed the double play to shortstop Hayden Nielsen for the tag.
Larsen, a freshman catcher, belted a three-run homer to left field, chasing the Islanders' starter from the game for a 5-1 cushion.
The Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the second frame when Dillon Robinson led off with a single and scored on the third single of that inning.
Freshman center fielder Brennon Lund threw out a runner trying to advance to third base to end the third frame.
In the seven-run fifth inning BYU batted around its lineup. JC transfer Eric Urry led off with a walk and scored from second on a throwing errors by the Islanders' right fielder and third baseman to give BYU a 2-1 lead. Brock Whitney, who had gotten on with a fielder's choice, ended up at second in that skirmish and scored on Kelton Caldwell's ensuing single up the middle.
Nielsen delivered a one-out single up the middle and scored off Lund's single, also up the middle. Lund stole second and scored when Urry singled to left field. Urry went to second on Whitney's single and scored when Caldwell was safe on an error, putting BYU up 8-1.
“Other than the eight runs, we didn't do a whole lot before of after,” Littlewood said of the overall day. “I would like to see us apply more pressure and have better distribution.”
Tyler Kendrick scored in the third inning of BYU's loss to the Islanders for the Cougars only run in the nightcap. BYU held a 1-0 lead until the two-run sixth inning.
"(Matt)Danton did a great job throwing three pitches for strikes on both sides of the plate and that stymied us,” Littlewood said. “We just couldn't push across runs when needed and it gave them the momentum. We need to play nine innings both offensively and defensively.”
The Cougars next face No. 19 TCU on Friday afternoon in the Kleberg Classic.
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