Ralph R. Zobell | Posted: 27 Feb 2016 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Record-setting 7-1 start after taking Samford series with 6-4 win

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (February 27, 2016)—Bronson Larsen and Brennon Lund combined with pitching from a five-man BYU baseball rotation to win the Samford series on Saturday in a 6-4 victory.

Larsen’s three-run homer in the fourth inning and Lund’s game-winning run topped the offense for the Cougars whose 7-1 overall record extends the best start in school history. Samford fell to 5-3 after BYU won the four-game series, 3-1.

“Today was the consummate team win,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We got great pitching by five different guys, we played great defense and we hit the ball throughout the lineup.”

Those five pitchers were starters Connor Williams, Kendall Motes, Riley Gates, Bo Burrup and Mason Marshall. Motes struck out three in two innings, Gates was credited as the winning pitcher with three strikeouts in a pair of innings and closer Marshall picked up his first save of the season.

“Mason (Marshall) was as sharp as I've seen him since returning from his mission,” Littlewood said. Marshall’s save increased his career total to 11, tying him for second in school annals with Jordan Muir (2006-09).

That pitching kept the Bulldogs at bay so the Cougars could overtake a 1-0 deficit in the fourth inning and fend off a Samford come back.

Larsen’s three-run, two-out homer to centerfield after an 0-2 count in the fourth gave BYU a 3-1 lead. The Bulldogs tied the game in the bottom of that frame, 3-3, thanks to a back-to-back triple by T.J. Dixon and Hunter Swilling.

The next inning Lund responded with a double to left field to plate Nate Favero and then scored what ended up as the game-winning run when Tanner Chauncey singled him in from second. Chauncey scored BYU's final run that inning when Colton Shaver singled him home. Lund continued to be a menace to the Bulldogs, stealing second and third in the seventh for his third steal of the day. Lund is 6-for-7 in stolen bases this season and has stolen third twice.

“Brennon (Lund) has turned himself into a complete player and really sets a great tone for us offensively,” Littlewood said. “It was great to see Bronson (Larsen) take some good swings and settle in at the plate.”

The Cougars return to Provo following a Saturday fireside in Alabama to ready for a three-game series all streamed on ESPN3 at Kansas, starting Thursday.

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