Wolfe's Walk-off Wins Duel
Walk-off Whips Utes For Duel Trophy
PROVO, Utah (April 24, 2010) — Delivered with a dramatic two-run walk-off home run by third baseman Alex Wolfe, BYU earned a 6-4 victory over rival Utah Saturday to claim the baseball Deseret First Duel title.
“Winning the Deseret First Duel is important to us,” BYU coach Vance Law said. “The guys fought hard and played all 27 outs. They showed great character.”
The Cougars improve to 18-20 on the year and 6-9 in Mountain West Conference play with the victory while Utah falls to 19-18 overall and 7-8 in MWC action.
If the season-high crowd of 1,826 fans attending Saturday’s decisive battle for the baseball Deseret First Duel came to witness great baseball drama, they got their wish. The contest was a back-and-forth duel in every sense and ended with the home-standing Cougars celebrating in full force at home plate after scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth to come back for the win.
Entering their final at-bat trailing 4-3, the Cougars put five batters at the plate to produce the three runs that would provide the winning tally. Shortstop Austin Hall started with a single to right and stole second base to put the tying run in scoring position. With two outs, catcher C.J. Ayoso knocked the first pitch up the middle to send Hall home from third to even the scoreboard.
The Cougar faithful were still enjoying Ayoso’s clutch performance when Wolfe brought the crowd to its feet and his teammates from the dugout with a one-one-count opposite-field blast over the leftfield wall to clear the bases. The win gave BYU the Duel's baseball portion for the third straight year over the Utes.
“That was a huge home run,” Law said. “After almost three hours of misery, it was 30-seconds of ecstasy.”
Utah got on the board first in the top of the second with one run, but BYU manufactured two runs on three singles as Ryan Bernal, Jonathan Cluff and Chase Frampton all found holes in the Ute defense.
The Cougars nearly put another run across the plate in the bottom of the third when Sean McNaughton sent a fly ball into right field with one out and runners on the corners. Brandon Relf tagged from third but was thrown out at home by Utah’s Rick Cornu for a disputed double play.
The fourth inning held some promise as well for the Cougars as Cluff followed Bernal’s leadoff hit-by-pitch walk with a double down the left field line. The BYU bats, however, were unable to deliver as Utah got the next three batters to get out of the jam.
Utah reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth when leftfielder Nick Gumeson sent a shot over the rightfield wall to bring in catcher C.J. Cron, who started the inning with a single. After a ground-ball out to Hall at shortstop was followed with a Utah single, Cougar starter Chris Capper produced another grounder that Hall and Relf turned for a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Cougar centerfielder Stephen Wells evened the tally in the bottom of the seventh when he blasted a one-out solo home run well over the fence in right-center to chase Utah pitcher Bryn Card from the game. Utah, however, responded with a run in the top-half of the next inning to get the upper hand at 4-3 and force Capper from the contest.
On in relief, Kevin Sloan begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting shut down the Utes in the top half of the ninth to set up the come-from-behind final at-bat for the Cougars. Sloan earned the win to improve to 7-0 on the season. It was Sloan's second win this week over Utah.
Ayoso, Cluff and Wolfe each delivered two hits on the day to highlight the offensive production. BYU earned its six runs on 11 hits while Utah was able to cross the plate four times on its 12 hits.
The Cougars take a break from league action as they play next week in Seattle against the universities of Seattle and Portland.
If you want to see the entire article: Click here