Jack Urquhart | Posted: 30 Mar 2017 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Kringlen's inside-the-park home run keys 7-6 win

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PROVO, Utah–Keaton Kringlen's late two-run inside-the-park home run gave BYU baseball a 7-6 win against Saint Mary's in a rain-soaked series opener Thursday at Larry H. Miller Field.

"We knew the weather was coming in and we just talked about staying mentally strong and patient," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "It was nice having a lead going into the delay.

"We've had a lot of close games, and the law of averages says that if you're a really good team, which I believe we are, you're going to win some of those."

Both teams pushed three runs across in the first inning. BYU (12-11, 2-2 West Coast Conference) got its runs on just one hit, as Tanner Chauncey singled, four Cougars walked and Colton Shaver skied one to the warning track to bring home a run.

A pair of hits primed two runs for the Gaels (17-8, 3-1 WCC) in the top of the second inning. Chauncey also knocked BYU’s second hit in the bottom half, but was stranded on second base after his double.

A throwing error from the Saint Mary’s shortstop kept the Cougars up with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. Brock Hale scored on a wild pitch and Kyle Dean doubled over the right fielder’s head to plate Shaver and tie the game at 5-5.

After BYU starter Maverik Buffo pitched two scoreless frames, the Gaels got one in the top of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly to lead 6-5. Buffo went five innings and gave up seven hits and six earned runs.

Kringlen’s seventh-inning home run, the second inside-the-parker in program history, scored Hale to give the Cougars a 7-6 lead. The two-out line shot on a 1-0 count landed in front of the right fielder, who came in and dove for the ball. It bounced past him and rolled to the fence, and by the time he retrieved it and threw home, Kringlen had touched the plate.

Heading into the top of the eighth inning, the game was delayed at 4:25 p.m. as heavy rain fell. After 55 minutes, play resumed, with Keaton Cenatiempo taking the mound for BYU. He promptly set Saint Mary's down in order.

In the ninth inning, Cenatiempo was perfect again, retiring the side on two flyouts and a strikeout to preserve the win.

Cougar relievers Riley Gates and Cenatiempo combined for four shutout innings. Gates (2-1) got the win and Cenatiempo picked up his third save of the season.

Game two will start at 6 p.m. on Friday night, weather permitting. Broadcasts will be available on BYUtv, ESPN 960 AM and BYU Radio (XM 143).

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