SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The No. 19 Toreros’ (27-11, 13-5) rally fell short against BYU (22-14, 11-4) Saturday afternoon as USD lost 12-8 to the Cougars. After falling behind 6-0 in the second inning, USD scored eight unanswered runs to take the lead only to see the Cougars post their second six run inning of the game in the seventh inning on their way to a 12-8 win to take the series.
The Cougars erupted for six runs on six hits in the top of the second, with all the runs coming with two outs. With runners on first and second, Brennon Anderson hit an RBI single to right. Daniel Schneemann then drew a walk to load the bases, setting up Tanner Chauncey for a two-run single. BYU followed with three consecutive RBI singles to open up a 6-0 lead.
The Toreros cut their deficit in half in the bottom of the third. Hunter Mercado-Hood tripled to the right center gap to score Jeff Houghtby and Paul Kunst. Jay Schuyler then brought Mercado-Hood with a sacrifice fly to right.
USD continued their rally by scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Riley Adams brought Mercado-Hood home with sacrifice fly to right. Roman Garcia then tied the game up with a two-run homer to left field, his ninth of the year. Two batters later, the Toreros took the lead when Brhet Bewley doubled down the right field line to score Colton Waltner.
The Toreros were gifted a run in the bottom the sixth when BYU reliever Jordan Walk balked to allow Jeff Houghtby to score from third.
The Cougars had their second six-run inning of the game in the top of the seventh to retake the lead. Paul Richan got the leadoff batter out then gave up a walk, a double and another walk to load the bases. Coach Hill then brought Sean Barry in, who gave up a bases-clearing double to pinch-hitter Nate Favero. Barry struck out the next batter for the second out of the inning, but the Cougars would score three more on a pair of singles. Nine of the Cougars’ runs in the game came with two outs.
Torero starter Paul Richan struggled mightily in the second inning, but settled down after that and lasted until the seventh inning. At one point, he retired seven straight batters. Sean Barry finished the seventh, allowing the bases-clearing double. Freshmen Louis Crow and Nate Walker combined to pitch the final two innings.
With the loss, the Toreros fall to 13-5 in conference and are now a half game out of first place behind LMU, who they play on the road next weekend.
The Toreros next game is Tuesday when they host UC Irvine at 6:00 p.m.
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