Cougars take series over Dons fueled by Anderson’s three home runs
PROVO, Utah — BYU baseball won the rubber match of its three-game series with San Francisco, 15-6, fueled by three home runs and two doubles from Luke Anderson at Miller Park on Saturday.
The Cougar second baseman went 5-5, scored four runs and collected six RBI to lead BYU to a 2-1 series victory. The Cougars improved to 11-19 (5-7 WCC) on the season, while the Dons fell to 13-13 (4-7).
“Luke has been playing really good for us and his performance tonight was special,” said BYU head coach Trent Pratt. “We had a bunch of guys step up in this series including Cooper Vest who had another couple of big hits tonight. The crowd was awesome today. They were loud and we fed off their energy.”
• Luke Anderson’s three home-run performance was the first by a Cougar since Keaton Kringlen versus Saint Mary's on April 1, 2017
• BYU’s 15 runs tied the season high versus UVU on March 21
• Season-high crowd of 2,210
• Luke Anderson: 5-5, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 2 2B
• Cooper Vest 3-4, 3 RBI, Run
• Jacob Wilk: 2-5, Run
BYU jumped out early with two runs in the bottom of first inning for a 2-0 lead. Ozzie Pratt led off the game with a single and Luke Anderson homered over the leftfield wall for his first round-tripper of the year.
After a scoreless second inning, the Cougars tacked on two more runs. The first run came on a solo shot by Anderson, his second home run of the night. Then Copper Vest doubled down the right field line to score Cole Gambill who had walked for a 4-0 BYU advantage.
USF cut into the Cougar lead in the top of the fourth with two runs off a walk, a single and Cougar error to make the score 4-2.
BYU got a run back in the bottom half of the fourth to push the lead to 5-2. Parker Goff led off the inning with a double to left center. A sacrifice bunt by Chad Call moved Goff to third where he scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Easton Jones.
The Cougars pushed their lead to 9-2 with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Anderson doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a single to left center by Vest. Wilk then singled to right to put runner on the corners. A throwing error by USF allowed Goff to reach third and scored Wilk and Vest. Goff then scored on a wild pitch for a seven-run lead.
After the Dons cut the lead to 9-4 in the top of the sixth, BYU broke the game open in the bottom half of the inning with three more runs. Easton Jones walked to lead off the inning, setting up another two-run home run by Anderson, this one to right-center. Vest then doubled to center to score Gambill, who had singled to right, giving BYU a 13-4 lead.
After a solo home run by USF first baseman Christian Stapleton in the seventh, BYU scored two more insurance runs in the top of the inning on a Call single, followed by a Jones triple and an Anderson double to push the Cougar advantage to 14-6.
BYU picked up one more run in the eighth on a Call groundball that scored Ryan Sepede, who had singled to lead off the inning.
Carter Smith (1-2) got the win for BYU after pitching the fifth and sixth innings, while Adam Shew (3-3) took the loss for USF.
BYU returns to action on Tuesday, April 11, in a midweek game with Utah Tech at Miller Park. The Cougars will then resume WCC play with a three-game series at Santa Clara, scheduled for April 13-15, at Stephen Schott Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
All four games will be broadcast live on the BYU Radio App and BYU Radio 107.9 FM in the northern Utah market, with Greg Wrubell on the call. The Tuesday game with the Trailblazers will also be broadcast on BYUtv App, with Dave McCann and Gary Sheide providing play-by-play and analysis.
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