Cole Wilstead’s two-run homer in the sixth inning and Brandon Kinser’s pitching provided the difference Saturday in BYU baseball’s 13-4 defeat over Gonzaga.
Kinser pitched seven solid innings as the starter to improve his record to 2-1, helping BYU’s record improve to 11-12 overall and 4-2 in the West Coast Conference. Meanwhile, Gonzaga fell to 11-13 and 2-4.
Wilstead provided the game-winning RBI with his left-field dinger when the Cougars took a 7-1 lead in the three-run sixth frame. The sophomore first baseman went 2-for-5 from the plate and scored four runs on the afternoon.
“The way we came out ready to play today shows just how much character this team has,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said in reference to recovering from Friday’s 7-6 loss. “Brandon (Kinser) was great today. He competed for seven innings and that's just the type of start we needed from him.
“Offensively, Brennon (Lund) set the tone for us on the first pitch of the game. It was also great to get some production from the bottom third of the lineup — Cole (Wilstead) and Derrick (Whitney) came up big for us today.”
Brennon Lund extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single as the leadoff batter in the first inning and scored on a wild pitch to give BYU a 1-0 lead. Teammate Hayden Nielsen also extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Kinser threw more than 100 pitches, scattering nine hits, surrendering no walks and striking out four.
Three of those strikeouts ended the Zag efforts in the first three innings. Kinser retired the Bulldogs in order in the first and fifth innings. Gonzaga tagged Kinser for a run in the fifth when it got three-consecutive hits, but a 6-4-3 double play quelled that rally.
The Cougars won two of three games at Gonzaga and now prepare for a non-conference tilt Tuesday night at Utah, which will be broadcast live locally on 960 AM with live audio stream by BYU Radio and live TV provided by the Pac-12 Network.
Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at byucougars.com/staff/athletics/ralph-zobell or contact him at email@example.com.