Deming’s grand slam lifts BYU to series sweep of UNCG
PROVO, Utah — BYU senior third baseman Austin Deming went five-for-five with two home runs and six RBI to lead BYU to a 13-11 win over UNC Greensboro at Miller Park on Saturday.
With its first series sweep of the year, BYU and improved to 17-21, while UNCG fell to 17-23.
“I thought our approach at the plate was great today and throughout the weekend series,” said BYU head coach Trent Pratt. “We are putting up some big offensive numbers right now and what Austin Deming is doing is incredible. It’s been fun to sit back and see what he’s going to do next.”
• BYU scored 13 runs on 13 hits, while UNCG had 11 runs on 15 hits
• The Cougars were 6 for 16 (.375) with runners on base
• BYU scored runs in six of its eight at bats
• Austin Deming 5-5, 2 HR, 2B, 6 RBI
• Cole Gambill: 3-5, HR, 2 RBI
• Cooper Vest: 1-3, HR, RBI, 2 Runs
• Ryan Sepede 1-4, HR, RBI
UNC Greensboro jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning, scoring a run on three hits for a 1-0 advantage.
BYU respond with four runs in the bottom half of the inning on a walk by Luke Anderson and a double in the left-center gap by Austin Deming to tie the game. Cole Gambill then homered down the right field line for two more runs, and Ryan Sepede followed with a solo shot to right field to push the Cougar lead to 4-1.
With two outs in the second inning, Deming homered to right field to extend the BYU lead to 5-1.
After a scoreless third inning, the Spartans picked up one run in the top of the fourth on a walk, a Cougar error and a single, before BYU starter Ben Hansen got UNCG leadoff hitter Dan Cerda to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
The Spartans scored another run in the fifth off a two-out solo home run by Jones to cut the BYU lead to 5-3. The Cougars pushed the lead back to three runs in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back singles by Deming and Gambill, combined with consecutive walks by Cooper Vest and Parker Goff for a score of 6-3.
The Spartans took the lead for the first time at 7-6 in the top of the sixth inning with four runs off four hits combined with the Cougars’ second defensive error of the game.
BYU evened the score in the bottom half of the sixth at 7-7. Easton Jones led off the inning with a double to left and advanced to third on a long flyball by Ozzie Pratt to center. Jones then scored on a sacrifice fly by Anderson to tie the game.
After holding UNCG scoreless in the top of the seventh, the Cougars struck for five runs in the bottom of the frame to retake the lead 12-7. Vest walked to lead off the inning and Goff was hit by a pitch. After back-to-back strikeouts, Ozzie Pratt singled to score Vest and put runners on the corners. A walk by Anderson loaded the bases for Deming, who hit a 2-2 pitch over the scoreboard in left for a grand slam and a five-run Cougar lead.
“As a team we are really swinging the bats well,” said Deming. “This was an important weekend for us to stay locked in and ready for the home stretch in conference play.”
Refusing to go down easy, the Spartans rallied for four runs on a walk and two home runs in the top of the eighth to make it an 11-12 ballgame. Vest extended the Cougars’ lead to two runs with a solo shot over the right center field wall in the bottom of the eighth.
Lefty closer, Boston Mabeus, came on in the eighth and got the final six outs for the save, his fourth on the year, while Carter Smith (2-2) was credited with the win for BYU and Matt Kemp (4-3) took the loss for UNC Greensboro.
BYU returns to WCC play next week with a three-game series versus Portland, April 27-29, at Miller Park.
BYU third baseman Austin Deming was selected by the Houston Astros in the 10th round of the 2023 MLB Draft at Lumen…