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BYU baseball: suspended game and extra-inning affair slip away from BYU vs. LMU

Brian Hsu hits a single in the 11th inning but was stranded in an eventual 9-8 loss.
Brian Hsu hits a single in the 11th inning but was stranded in an eventual 9-8 loss.

BYU baseball lost its continuation of a suspended game (7-4) and the nightcap (9-8, 12 innings) against Loyola Marymount on Friday at Larry H. Miller Field.

"We weren't ready to play," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "We came without energy and didn't compete until late in the second game. Hand it to them (LMU). They're playing with a lot of confidence right now and executed when they needed to."

The Cougars (9-8, 0-2 West Coast Conference) dropped their first two league games as the Lions (8-10, 2-0 WCC) took advantage on the base paths.

BYU went down in Thursday's suspended game after being outscored 3-0 when the 4-4 tie heading into the bottom of the sixth was continued on Friday afternoon.

Cougar starter Jordan Wood didn’t allow a hit through three innings and worked into trouble in the fifth. After a throwing error from the outfield, a walk and a double, LMU got four runs in the inning.

The Cougars answered with four runs of their own in the bottom half, as Mitch McIntyre, Jarrett Perns, Brock Hale and Nate Favero knocked base hits as rain turned to snow flurries. A couple of mishandled plays by the Lions contributed to the rally.

David Clawson made a nice diving catch on a fouled bunt in the sixth, and after three outs, the game was suspended.

Resuming game one on Friday, the Cougars were blanked in the bottom of the sixth. Blake Inouye started on the mound in the seventh for BYU, and the Lions manufactured a run in the frame to lead 5-4.

LMU got two more across off in the eighth to lead by three runs. BYU was blanked for the final two innings to drop the series opener, 7-4.

In the second game, the Lions outlasted the Cougars, 9-8, in 12 innings as BYU stranded the tying run on third base in the final frame after four hours and 32 minutes of baseball.

Perns produced a two-run double down the left-field line to give the Cougars a 2-1 lead in the second inning of the nightcap.

BYU starter Alex Perron was chased in the fourth inning to make way for Kenny Saenz, who also appeared in game one. He walked three before settling in and allowed the Lions to tie the game at 2-2. In the fifth, a wild pitch plated LMU’s third run.

Bo Burrup spelled Saenz and surrendered a two-run double to make it 5-2 in LMU’s advantage. A single then widened the gap to four runs before the bleeding temporarily stopped. The Lions pieced together two more in the sixth for an 8-2 lead.

Favero and Keaton Kringlen clubbed back-to-back doubles to score two Cougars. McIntyre’s ensuing single up the middle brought the BYU deficit to 8-5. Perns then roped his third double of the game, this time to the right side, to score McIntyre. A wild pitch brought across Perns to bring the Cougars within one run, 8-7, through six.

Brennon Anderson launched the first pitch of the bottom of the eighth over the left-field fence to tie the game at 8-8.

In the 12th, LMU capitalized on passed balls and a wild pitch to go up 9-8. The Cougars threatened in the bottom half when pinch-hitter Jake Brown singled through the right side with one out, and Kyle Dean singled to advance pinch-runner Paxton Larson to third base with two outs. Larson was waved home on the Texas Leaguer to left field, but he tripped and had to retreat back to the bag. Lion reliever Josh Robins induced a game-winning groundout to earn the victory.

BYU looks to salvage a series split Saturday at 1 p.m.