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COUGARS LOSE PITCHING DUEL WITH OHIO ST.

SHARE COUGARS LOSE PITCHING DUEL WITH OHIO ST.

Brigham Young lost to top-seeded Ohio State University 6-1 in the opening game of the Atlantic II Regional Thursday afternoon in Tallahassee, Fla. BYU fell despite a strong effort from Cougar starter and loser Shane Bloomfield (8-3). Brigham Young is now 35-19 while the Buckeyes are 49-7.

Bloomfield went seven innings, allowing four hits and five runs (three earned) while striking out three. He battled control problems early and finished with six walks.He was outpitched, however, by OSU starter Matt Beaumont, (11-1), who went the distance giving up only three hits and one run for the win.

"For six innings Bloomfield and Beaumont were the game," BYU coach Gary Pullins said. "Shane rose to the occasion against a fine offensive team in Ohio state."

The game was scoreless in the bottom of the third when, with one out, Bloomfield walked two batters. Buckeye catcher Jonathan Sweet followed with a single to center scoring one and moving another runner to third. When Sweet tried to take second on the throw to the plate, Cougar catcher Mike Espiritu's throw sailed into center field allowing another run to score.

The game remained 2-0 until the seventh, when Bloomfield was his own worst enemy. He committed two errors in the inning allowing two more unearned runs.

Pullins felt the seventh inning was the difference.

"The bottom of the seventh opened the flood gates for them," he said. "I thought it it was a 2-0 or 3-0 game in the eighth or ninth we would have a chance but it got away in the seventh. Give credit to Beaumont. We never really caught on to him and he pitched a fine game."

In the ninth, with Ohio State now up 6-0, Espiritu walked with one out and went to third on Cougar pinch hitter Steve Cooper's long double to right center. Jared Bill's sacrifice fly drove in Espiritu, who was 1-2 with two walks, for Brigham Young's lone run. Buckeye coach Bob Todd felt the key to their success would be to control the power in the Cougar offense. "We couldn't let (Ryan) Hall and Espiritu beat us if BYU was going to score runs," ha said.

Espiritu seemed to have Beaumont figured out early with a double and a deep fly to center. "I hit the ball hard against him my first two times up and then he tried to get his curve ball over and pitched around Me," Espiritu said.

"These kids have battled all year," Pullins said after the game. "They'll bounce back tomorrow. if your club can forget about a loss they can have an advantage and do some damage in the loser's bracket."

Brigham Young plays in Game 4 of the regional Friday at 11 a.m. against the loser of the Florida State versus Central Michigan game.