Cats Stumble at BYU

PROVO, Utah - Kansas State trailed 12-4 through five innings and scored five unanswered to get within three, but it wasn't enough as BYU defeated the 20th-ranked Wildcats, 15-9, Tuesday evening at Miller Park.

BYU improved to 15-16 on the season and 3-0 against Kansas State in Provo, while the Wildcats fell to 23-7 on the season.

Holding on to an eight-run lead, BYU allowed K-State to get back into the game as the Cougars committed four errors in the final four innings. In fact, the final five Kansas State runs were all unearned due to BYU miscues in the infield.

The Wildcats scored two in the seventh to get within three before Nick Martini walked to load the bases and represent the tying run. But Chris Capper forced Daniel Dellasega to ground out and end the inning.

In the eighth, BYU scored three runs, two coming on a single by Alex Wolfe, to put the game away.

Ryan Bernal led the Cougars by going 3-for-5 with six RBI, five of which came on a pair of home runs. The designated hitter smashed a fifth-inning grand slam to push the Cougars out to an eight-run lead.

Bryce Ayoso and Austin Hall added three hits apiece, while Wolfe, Wells and Dane Nielsen recorded two RBI each.

Carter Jurica went 2-for-5 with three RBI, his second-straight three RBI contest. Blair DeBord also tallied a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with one run driven in.

Justin Shutt picked up the win in relief for BYU as the right-hander allowed just three hits with a walk and two strikeouts in three innings of work. Shutt did allow five runs, but all were unearned due to the errors.

Kayvon Bahramzadeh took the loss as he lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits with four walks.

The Wildcats did receive a gutsy pitching performance from Tyler Giannonatti, who had only see action in four contests before Tuesday with a season-long outing of 1.1 innings. Giannonatti threw scoreless seventh and eighth innings with his only blemish coming on a two-out hit-by-pitch in the seventh.

For the first time since March 30 against Wichita State, Kansas State took the game's first lead on a RBI double off the left-field wall by DeBord, scoring Kent Urban and giving K-State a 1-0 lead.

BYU came back to score three runs in both the second and third inning as Wells hit a two-RBI single into center field before a Bahramzadeh wild pitch latter in the inning made the score 3-1.

Jonathan Cluff hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth to begin the scoring. Four batters later, Nielsen singled to score another two runs.

Down 6-1, Kansas State tried to fight back in the top of the fourth as Martini walked and moved to third on a Dellasega single. Urban walked, but ball four sailed to the backstop to allow Martini to score. Matt Giller then sacrificed both runners into scoring position, but Anderson threw his second wild pitch of the inning to bring home another run.

With Urban on third, DeBord, who walked, took off for second before Anderson threw a pitch. Urban took off for home and was safe, making the score 6-3.

BYU came right back in the bottom half as two triples and a Bernal home run plated two more runs and made the score 8-4.

Bernal then hit his grand slam the next inning, which came on a two-out, two-strike pitch to make the score 12-4.

A trio of fielding errors by BYU shortstop Brandon Relf in the sixth led to three K-State runs. Giller reached on a leadoff error, moved to second on a groundout and to third on a pinch-hit base hit by Jake Brown. After a strikeout for the second out of the frame, Adam Muenster was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Jurica smashed a single into center to score two.

Martini was then safe on an error by Relf before Dellasega also peppered Relf with another ground ball, which was misplayed and Muenster scored to pull the Cats to within five.

K-State pulled to within three in the seventh, benefitting from another BYU miscue in the infield. DeBord hit a one-out infield single and moved to second when Brown walked. Mike Kindel moved both runners into scoring position with a ground out, before Muenster hit a ground ball to Nielsen at second. Nielson fumbled the ball and Muenster was safe, scoring a run.

Jurica was next and hit an infield single into the hole on the left side of the infield and beat out the thrown, cutting the deficit to 12-9.

The Wildcats and Cougars conclude their two-game series with a 12 p.m. first pitch at Miller Park.