It hasn’t been the season that Utah Baseball wanted up to this point in the season but as they say, ‘a win over the Cougars heals all wounds.’
The Utah Baseball, sitting at just 8-15, has struggled mightily this season. The Utes are just 1-8 in Pac-12 play and entered their matchup with the ‘team down south’ on a nine-game losing streak after dropping all three games at Stanford, followed up with a sweep at home at the hands of the Oregon Ducks. But as Ute fans are well aware, records go out the window whenever the Utes and Cougars face off, in any sport.
But while we’re discussing records, let’s take a (brief) look at what the Cougars had done entering Tuesday’s game at Smith’s Ballpark. BYU’s season has gone quite the opposite as the Ute’s, coming into Tuesday’s game with an impressive 21-5 record and had recently been placed in the College Baseball Top-25, coming in at number-24.
Despite their contrasting seasons up to this point, the matchup between BYU and Utah on the diamond was a tightly-contested, back-and-forth game.
The Utes got out to an early lead, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning before adding another run in the second to take a 5-1 lead at the end of two. The BYU bats could only be slowed for so long, however, as the Cougars fought back to tie the game at 5-apiece in the top of the seventh and again at 6-6 in the top of the eighth inning.
With the game tied in the bottom of the eight and with two outs, sophomore third-baseman Rykker Tom hit a two-run triple to give the Utes the lead. The game wasn’t over yet, as the Cougars threatened in the top of ninth before the Utes turned a 4-6-3 double play to give the Utes the 8-6 victory over BYU.
The game, while just the eighth win of the season for the Utes, marks the fourth straight victory over the Cougars dating back to last season.
The Utes were led by right-fielder Erick Migueles who finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, along with Tom, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBI. Jacob Rebar earned the win for the Utes on the mound, his first of the season.
The Utes travel to take on the sixth-ranked Oregon State Beavers for a three-game road series before returning for a rematch with the Cougars in Provo on Tuesday, April 9.
The next home series for the Utes begins on Thursday, April 11, as the Utes face off against the USC Trojans at Smith’s Ballpark.