Biss Larsen hit the game-winning walk-off single in the ninth inning.
May 13, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY - With three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Utah baseball team rallied to defeat BYU, 5-4, on Tuesday evening.
TJ Bennett led off the ninth inning with a double that was just fair down the left field line. Josh Rose walked to put two on base while AJ Young drove in the first run of the inning with a single through the left side. After a Cougar pitching change, Cory Hunt doubled to left center field to tie the game at 4-4, and Biss Larsen followed with a single through the left side for the game-winning run.
Bennett went 3-for-4 at the plate while Konnor Armijo, who hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to tie the game at 2-2, was 2-for-4. Hunt went 2-for-3.
Utah used four pitchers. Tanner Banks pitched three innings and allowed one run on three hits with two strikeouts. Bret Helton also threw three innings, allowing an unearned run on two hits. Dylan Drachler allowed one run on two hits with two strikeouts over 1 2/3 innings, and Josh Chapman picked up the win, pitching 1 1/3 innings, surrendering one run on two hits. He is 4-0 on the year.
"You can't expect anything less," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "A one run game with BYU - that's the way it generally it is. What a great ball game. It was appropriate tonight that our seniors had big nights, with Konnor hitting the home run, and TJ having three hits, and Biss coming up with the winning hit and Chapman getting the win. It was a big day for our seniors, to win their last game against BYU.
"Whatever our record is, our guys have battled every day from day one. I can't say enough about this group and how hard they've worked, and how much they've battled. We've been punched in the gut so many times this year, and they keep coming back."
BYU took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, rallying with two outs for back-to-back hits. The Cougars took a 2-0 lead with a run in the fifth inning, taking advantage of an error following a double to send in a run on a sacrifice fly.
With two outs in the sixth inning and Bennett on base after a single, Armijo sent one deep to left center to tie the game at 2-2.
BYU pulled back ahead in the seventh inning. With one out, a hit batter, single and walk loaded the bases, and a run scored on a ground out when the ball bounced high in front of the catcher, and the only out that could be made was at first. The Cougars added an insurance run to go ahead 5-4 in the top of the ninth on back-to-back doubles with no outs.
Utah returns to Pac-12 play this weekend at Arizona State, with the three-game series beginning Friday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. PT.