The Pilots returned to Joe Etzel Field on Thursday night to take on WCC rival Brigham Young University. This game came on the heels of the Pilots' big win in Eugene against the Ducks earlier this week. Momentum carried into tonight’s game as the Pilots rallied in a close game to take the win by a margin of 4-3.
The game stayed close throughout the first three innings. BYU struck first in the second inning after a single from senior Cougar Nate Favero led to a run for the Cougars. The Pilots would rally back scoring two runs in the third with sac flies from sophomore Beau Brundage and redshirt junior Daniel Lopez.
BYU took back the lead in the fourth inning as freshman shortstop Chad Stevens made a crucial error that lead to two runs for BYU. The Pilots played good baseball all around except for the four errors that the defense committed. Usually errors against a solid team like BYU would lead to a tally in the loss column, but this time, the Pilots powered through.
Starting Pilot pitcher sophomore Camden Muller had a strong outing only giving up three runs, all of which had an error played into them. Muller threw five innings before sophomore Christian Peters came in to pitch the sixth. Peters was lights out on the mound, striking out seven BYU batters in three innings pitched. His mastery of off-speed pitches such as his slider made life difficult for the Cougars at the plate.
“I was just executing pitches to both sides of the plate,” Peters said. “I know I can go out there and trust the defense behind me and luckily the off speed was working well for me tonight so I got a lot of strikeouts.”
The difference in the score between the two teams came in the bottom of the sixth inning when Pilot redshirt junior Daniel Lopez stepped to the plate and sent a ball sailing over the left field wall to provide the final score of 4-3.
The Pilots still have work to do, but every win in the WCC means a lot as the division tightens.
“The way the WCC is shapening up right now it’s a dog fight for positioning right now, every win is critical,” noted Pilots head coach Geoff Loomis.
Momentum is high after two big wins in a row for the Pilots. The baseball team is back in action with games against BYU Friday at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday at noon.