BYU baseball coach Gary Pullins says the Cougars' season resembles the year BYU's first-baseman David Bayles is having - a little cold at first but now red hot.
Before BYU hosted Utah on Friday, Bayles was hitting .262 and had just seven RBI in 61 at-bats.Friday, Bayles went 1-3 and doubled in a run, but that was nothing compared to his performance Tuesday afternoon when BYU hosted Utah in a double-header.
In Game One, Bayles went 3-4 and crushed a 3-run homer to help BYU whip Utah 14-6.
The Utes should have pitched around him in Game Two or gave him a free pass to first, because Bayles continued his torrid hitting by smacking three singles in his first three at-bats.
And when Utah had rallied to tie the game at six in the sixth inning, Bayles stepped up to the plate with two outs and untied the score.
Bayles turned on a fastball and hit the top of an evergreen tree on the other side of the right-field fence to give BYU a 7-6 win and a sweep of the Utes.
"I was actually suprised to see a fastball. He (Utah pitcher Mike Segas) had been throwing a lot of curves," Bayles said. "He just got it a little inside and I turned on it."
In the two games, Bayles had six hits in seven at-bats, with two home runs (his first two of the year). He also matched his RBI totals for the year with seven.
"That was a herculean effort he had today," Pullins said. "He started off the season slow. I can't explain why, but he's made some adjustments in his swing."
In the second game, BYU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Eric McDowell walked and Ryan Roberts singled.
Roberts took second when Utah tried to get McDowell at third. Bayles then singled in McDowell and Roberts.
The Cougars added two more runs in the third and one in the fourth to go up 5-1, but Utah charged back.
Travis Parker hit a solo home run in the fourth, then Utah tied the game with three runs in the fifth when Nate Truax doubled in two runs and pinch hitter Kelly Stratton singled home another run.
In the bottom of the fifth, Lance Moore singled in a run to put BYU up 6-5. Utah answered in the top of the sixth with a run. With one out, Utah's Justin Johnson singled. Corland Felts then flew out and Roddy McGee walked.
Casey Child then doubled down the left-field line, scoring Johnson. But BYU starter Tom Gatten kept Truax from being the hero when he got him to pop up to end the inning.
In the first game, BYU scored six runs in the third inning, with the big blow coming from a Leroy Brown 3-run homer. The Cougars scored seven more runs in the fifth off Bayles' 3-run shot.
Brian Knoll, who pitched six innings, allowing 11 hits and six runs, picked up the win.