BYU Rebounds in Elimination Game Against UNLV
May 25, 2011
Mountain West Senior Writer
SAN DIEGO - If pitching and defense win championships, the BYU Cougars may be on to something.
No. 3 seed BYU, rebounding from its opening-round loss to New Mexico, turned two more double plays and used a strong outing from sophomore starter Taylor Cole to eliminate No. 5 seed UNLV, 5-1, in the Mountain West Baseball Championship Wednesday afternoon at San Diego State's Tony Gwynn Stadium.
The Cougars play again at 11 a.m. on Thursday against an opponent to be determined.
In its first two games of the tournament, BYU has turned eight double plays. The tournament record is 11, set by TCU in 2008.
"There's no question that it's our pitching and defense that are keeping us close right now," said Cougars coach Vance Law.
BYU (30-26) took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when freshman Jaycob Brugman, aboard on a leadoff double, took third on a passed ball and scored on a single to center by Alex Wolfe.
The Cougars, who finished with 10 hits, struck for two more runs in the seventh on an RBI single by Andrew Law and a sacrifice fly from Brugman, the MW Freshman of the Year.
Cole, who scattered eight hits over 7 2/3 innings, struck out five.
The Cougars continue tournament play on Thursday at 11 a.m. PT against either New Mexico, San Diego State or Utah.
Senior leftfielder Cash Thomas went 3-for-3 for UNLV, which finished the season 33-25.
"We've got a great bunch of seniors, and that really made the transition easy for everybody," said first-year coach Tim Chambers. "The challenge was to make sure that this thing didn't fall apart. When you've got a situation where half the team is made up of new guys and the other half is returning players, if things go south a little bit, it's not always easy to keep the ship together. But these guys never jumped off. There's some good things ahead for Rebel baseball."
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