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Cougars’ rally falls short in loss to Aztecs

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PROVO — A five-run, seventh-inning rally wasn't enough for the BYU baseball team as the Cougars fell to the San Diego State Aztecs 10-6 at Miller Park in front of the 2,505 fans, the fifth-largest crowd in the team's history.

BYU falls to 15-25 overall and 5-9 in the Mountain West; SDSU is 20-21 and 9-3.

With the exception of the seventh inning, the Cougar bats were silent most of the night as BYU recorded five hits on the evening, while the Cougar pitching crew gave up 11 hits with eight walks.

"We try to teach our guys to be aggressive at the plate," said BYU head coach Vance Law, commenting on the team's hitting. "We want them to hit the first good ball they see."

Down 10-1 going into the sixth inning, junior Kalen Parsons, the third Cougar pitcher on the evening, gave the Cougars what they needed. Parsons cooled the Aztecs" bats by fanning six batters over the last four innings while giving up no runs and three hits.

"You never know what you are going to get when you go to the bullpen,' said Law, "But Parsons hit his spots and commanded the strike zone with his fastball."

The seventh-inning comeback for the Cougars was highlighted with a three run blast off the bat of centerfielder Ryan Chambers, his 35th of the year, to bring BYU to within four at 10-6.

But despite Parsons' strong performance, the Cougars' deficit was too much to erase.

Pitcher Nick Lemon made his first start as a Cougar, recording an impressive six strikeouts through three innings of play but Lemon also gave up five runs on four hits with six walks, five errors and three wild pitches.

Lemon got the start after Law moved his usual Friday starter, Paul Jacinto, to the bullpen to be used in a reliever role.

The first score of the game for the Cougars came in the first inning trailing 3-0 when shortstop Brandon Taylor drove in Chambers with a double to right field.

With the Aztecs up 5-1 going into the fourth inning, Law turned to freshman Joshua Barrett to turn the game around for the Cougars. Barrett also had trouble getting the ball down the middle as he threw through two innings of play, giving up five runs on four hits.

The Cougars and Aztecs will play the third and final game of their three-game series today at noon at Miller Park.