Cougars rally for 11-8 win over Pacific in 13 innings
STOCKTON, Calif. — A two-run triple by Cooper Vest in the top of the 13th inning broke an 8-8 tie and led to a BYU come-from-behind 11-8 win over Pacific on Thursday at Klein Family Field in Stockton.
Vest, went 4 for 7 at the plate with three RBI, while BYU relief pitcher Boston Mabeus threw 77 pitches over the final five innings for his second win of the year. The lefty closer from Las Vegas held the Tigers hitless, while striking out nine of the 19 batters he faced.
BYU improves to 21-26 (10-12 WCC) on the year, while Pacific falls to 13-30 (5-20). The Cougars will face the Tigers in game two of the three-game series on Friday at 6 p.m. PDT.
“I don’t have words that can do justice to explain what Boston did on the mound tonight,” said BYU head coach Trent Pratt. “It was pretty special. He was just not going to let us lose. I was proud of the way all our guys kept fighting and found a way to win.”
• BYU was 15 of 53 at the plate, while Pacific was 13 of 53
• The Tigers scored 8 runs on 13 hits, while the Cougars scored 11 runs on 15 hits
• Mabeus went five innings, threw 77 pitches, faced 19 batters and had 9 strikeouts—all career highs
• Vest: 4-7, 2 Runs, 3RBI, 2 2B, 3B
• Ozzie Pratt: 2-7, 2 Runs
• Easton Jones: 2-7, 2 Runs, RBI, HR
• Luke Anderson: 1-7, 3 RBI, Run
BYU jumped out to an early lead with five runs on four hits in the second inning. Cooper Vest led off the inning with a double down the right field line. He then moved to second on a walk by Jacob Wilk and advanced to the third on a single by Easton Jones. Parker Goff then singled to left center, scoring Vest and Wilk. On a 1-1 count, Luke Anderson homered to center field for three RBIs and a 5-0 Cougar lead.
Pacific responded in the bottom half of the inning with one run off two hits for a 5-1 score through two innings. The Tigers picked up three more runs in the third inning off two hits and an error to cut the Cougar lead to 5-4.
BYU runs in the fourth and fifth innings pushed the Cougar advantage to 7-4. An infield ground ball by Cole Gambill scored Ozzie Pratt in the fourth, while the run in the fifth came on a solo home run by Easton Jones.
Three Pacific runs in the bottom of the sixth gave the Tigers their first lead of the game at 8-7.
BYU tied the game at 8-8 in the top of the ninth on a Cooper Vest double down the right field line that scored Gambill, who had drawn a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a Sepede single.
Cougar closer Mabeus came on in the ninth and was brilliant over the next five innings, holding the Tigers hitless, while striking out nine.
“I don't think I’ve thrown that many pitches in a game since I was 17,” said Mabeus after the game. “Everyone on the team did what they needed to do tonight to get the win. It was a huge win for us.”
After scoreless innings in the 10th, 11th and 12th, the Cougars rallied for three runs in the 13th on two hits. Austin Deming singled to open the inning and advanced to second on a full-count walk by Cole Gambill. Tate Gambill then moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt. Facing a 1-1 count, Vest then tripled to left field scoring Deming and Gambill. A sacrifice fly to centerfield by Wilk scored Vest giving BYU an 11-8 advantage, which turned out to be the final score.
Mabeus (2-0) struck out two of the four batters he faced in the bottom of the 13th for the win, while Tiger reliever Tyler Stout (3-3) took the loss.
Friday’s broadcast of game two of the series can be heard live on the BYU Radio App and will be simulcast on 107.9 in the northern Utah market. Jason Shepherd will have the call. Pacific will also broadcast the game on the WCC Network.
BYU third baseman Austin Deming was selected by the Houston Astros in the 10th round of the 2023 MLB Draft at Lumen…