Jordan Christiansen | Posted: 15 Feb 2020 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars Lose Two to New Mexico

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Leatham running

SURPRISE, Ariz. – BYU baseball lost two close contests to New Mexico on Saturday with the Lobos winning game one, 2-0, before taking game two by a score of 5-4.

“It was a tough day all around,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “It seemed very difficult to score runs, to execute and to string many good at bats together. Overall, pitching was solid again but our inability to make plays when it counted hurt us.”

Game 1 Box Score and Game 2 Box Score

Game 1 Summary

  • BYU had at least one man on base in five of nine innings
  • New Mexico scored twice in the fourth off a single and an error and then a double
  • Three freshmen pitchers saw their first playing time as Cougars, including starter Cy Nielson

Game 1 Player Highlights

  • Abraham Valdez: 1-3
  • Drew Zimmerman: 2.0 IP, 2 K, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 ER
  • Bryce Robison: 2.2 IP, 2 K, 3 H, BB, 0 ER

A two-run fourth inning and 12 Cougar strikeouts led to a win for New Mexico in the morning game.

With a man on second, the Lobos brought him home on a BYU throwing error. One batter later with a runner on first, a double scored run number two before the Cougars could get the final two outs of the inning.

Brock Watkins reached as far as third with no outs for the Cougars in the sixth, but a strikeout and pop out ended any threat.

Starting his first game, freshman Cy Nielson went 3.2 innings with six strikeouts, four hits and a walk in the loss. Freshmen Bryce Robison and Cooper McKeehan also made their BYU debuts in relief, combining with junior Drew Zimmerman to shut out the Lobos over the final five innings.

Game 2 Summary

  • Down 3-0, New Mexico scored five runs over two innings to take a permanent lead
  • Three more freshmen pitchers made their BYU debuts – Carter Smith, Tyson Heaton and Mikade Johnson
  • Hayden Leatham hit a home run in the ninth with two outs to bring the Cougars within one

Game 2 Player Highlights

  • Hayden Leatham: 2-5, 2B, HR, R, RBI
  • Austin Deming: 1-3, R, BB
  • Tyson Heaton: 3.0 IP, 2 H, BB, 0 ER

Four singles and two sacrifice flies put three up on the board for BYU in the top of the second inning to give the Cougars the initial lead. Freshman Joshua Cowden hit a deep fly to left to bring in Mitch McIntyre before freshman Brock Watkins hit a single up the middle with the bases loaded to score sophomore Austin Deming. Freshman Hunter Swapp hit another fly to left to score sophomore Ryan Sepede and put BYU up, 3-0.

New Mexico tied the game in the bottom of the third with a triple, sac fly and double, chasing BYU junior righthander Easton Walker out of the game.

One inning later, a Lobo baserunner scored off an RBI-single after reaching on a Cougar error. The second run of the inning came off a wild pitch, giving New Mexico a 5-3 advantage.

BYU loaded the bases in the fifth but couldn’t scratch one across. Finally in the ninth with two out, Leatham roped a solo shot for his second home run in as many days, but a final out kept the Cougars a run down.

Freshman Carter Smith took the loss in his debut despite not allowing an earned run and just one hit in 1.1 innings of relief. Freshman Tyston Heaton held the Lobos scoreless over three innings while freshman Mikade Johnson closed the game without allowing a run.

The Cougars will play their final game in Arizona against No. 25 Oregon State on Monday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. MT at Surprise Stadium.

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