On Thursday night, BYU baseball fell to Loyola Marymount in the first round game at the West Coast Conference tournament, 3-2.
Questions before the tournament were about the Cougars pitching staff. Coach Mike Littlewood looked to Brady Corless to answer the call with the start. Corless, a senior, put on a terrific performance.
Corless threw 7 innings for the Y, striking out 8 LMU batters with 3 walks with just 3 runs getting across. It was precisely the kind of start that BYU was looking for.
Unfortunately, Loyola Marymount’s pitching staff did more to foil the Cougar batters.
BYU was only able to generate 3 hits on the game. Brock Hale singled through the left side in the top of the 4th which scored Daniel Schneemann who reached on a walk.
The biggest miss of the game for the Cougars came in the 6th inning. Loyola Marymount walked 4 straight batters scoring BYU’s 2nd run of the game. With bases loaded via walks and only 1 out, Nate Favero fouled out on a weak pop fly to the third basemen in foul territory failing to generate a sacrifice fly. Freshman DC Clawson was brought in to pinch hit for Kyle Dean with 2 outs. Clawson would pop out to short in left centerfield.
The loss puts the Cougars in the losers bracket in the conference tournament.
The path to winning the WCC tournament just became very difficult. The Bat Cats are now in a situation where they must win 4 games over the next 2 days. A task that not only will strain the bullpen, but will require the entire BYU pitching staff to channel their best performances.
However, tonight proved that if the bats don’t wake up the Cougars won’t play more than one more game.
Next up are the Saint Mary’s Gaels. BYU swept St. Mary’s earlier this season at Miller Field. However, SMC (37-19) has played strong baseball down the stretch of the season to secure their 4th place finish to qualify for the tournament.
BYU junior lefty Hayden Rogers will be the Cougars starting pitcher against the Gaels. On April 1, Rogers had a commanding performance in a 14-1 BYU victory over St. Mary’s College. Rogers pitched an 8-inning, two-hitter with 1 earned run.
The winner of tomorrow’s game will stay alive in the WCC tournament. The loser will go home.
The game will be played tomorrow at 1:00 PM MST. The game will be available to watch via a stream on TheW.tv. The game will also be broadcast by Brent Norton on ESPN 960 AM and is available to stream on espn960sports.com.