The Bat Cats’ elimination-game magic ran out.
After winning five elimination games in a row, the Cougars weren’t able to get the sixth against the #8 Stanford Cardinal baseball team at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto. The Cardinal defeated BYU 9-1.
The Cougars had trouble solving Cardinal lefty Chris Castellanos. Castellanos, a two-time All-Pac 12 performer, baffled the Y batters all afternoon in the first complete-game win by a Stanford hurler in two years.
BYU was only able to solve Castellanos four times. Brennon Anderson reached base on a swinging bunt. Colton Shaver smashed a ball over the 375 marker on left-center wall for the Cougars’ only run of the afternoon. It was Shaver’s 13th home run of the season.
Anderson would pick up a second hit in the bottom of the ninth, joined by a hit from Keaton Kringlen before BYU was retired and eliminated.
In the end, Castellanos struck out three batters on zero walks, giving up four hits and one run. It was a dynamite performance for the Cardinal southpaw.
Maverik Buffo was a force for the Cougars on the mound. Buffo kept the Cardinal off the scoreboard through the first five innings.
In the 6th, Stanford finally scored on a fielder’s choice for their first run. The next Stanford batter — centerfielder Jack Klein — hit a two-run home run to left field.
The 7th inning saw Buffo well over 100 pitches. When Stanford pieced together a pair of hits, Buffo’s day was done. In total, he struck out five Stanford batters in 6 2⁄3 innings with six hits and four runs.
But Stanford blew up the BYU bullpen.
Riley Gates replaced Buffo and faced two batters. Both hit home runs.
Keaton Cenatiempo struggled in 2⁄3 innings work. He walked two batters, balked, threw a wild pitch and gave up two hits. In the end, Cenatiempo gave up two runs.
Bo Burrup came in next. Burrup’s job in relief was to handle his matchup with Stanford leading hitter Matt Winaker. Winaker hit a RBI single. Burrup’s day was done.
Next came Jordan Wood from the pen to give a yo-yo performance. Wood started with a four-pitch walk, then regrouped for a strike out. Stanford hit a single to center that scored to two runs. Wood closed the eighth inning with another strike out, then closed out Stanford in the 9th inning.
It was a terrific season for BYU baseball. Not only did the team qualify for the program’s first NCAA tournament in 15 years, the Cougars won the West Coast Conference regular season championship and conference tournament. The Bat Cats finish the season with a 38-21 record.
The loss brings to close the BYU careers of seniors Keaton Cenatiempo, Brady Corless, Mason Marshall, Tanner Chauncey and Bronson Larsen. Each of those players have been important to the rise of BYU baseball’s program in the past few seasons.
Next up for the BYU baseball program will be the MLB Draft. Several Cougar players are eligible to be selected and may well choose to make the leap to professional ball.
Coach Mike Littlewood and his staff will be curious about the future of current players like Brennon Anderson, Colton Shaver and Brock Hale — as well as where his commit Seth Corry, the Gatorade Utah Player of the Year from Lone Peak High School, will be drafted.