Provo • Not since the days of LaVell Edwards have the Cougars enjoyed such a lopsided win over the Utes.
Then again, enjoyed and lopsided might not be strong enough words to describe this one.
In the first of four scheduled meetings on the baseball diamond between the longtime rivals this season, BYU thoroughly embarrassed Utah with a football-like score of 20-3 at Miller Field on Tuesday night in front of 1,904 fans.
The Utes were finished long before that.
“We caught Utah on a good night [because of the uncertainty of whether the game would be played, because of daylong rain showers]. … They were just a little bit flat,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “… I have never seen anything like that.”
The Cougars scored 18 runs in the first two innings, finished with 20 hits and took advantage of five Utah errors.
It got so bad that when the Utah reliever Josh Chapman, the Utes’ fourth pitcher of the game, got Hayden Nielsen to ground into a fielder’s choice to mercifully end the second inning, the partisan BYU crowd cheered the effort.
“All of us have a bunch of friends on this Utah team, so I can’t put it into words,” BYU slugger Kelton Caldwell said when asked how it felt to put 20 runs on the Utes.
Utah entered with a 5-5 record and a 5-4 win over No. 10 Indiana to its credit, but the Utes were downright awful in this one. The Cougars (5-8), playing their first home game after a lackluster start, were flawless until the ninth inning when Utah picked up all three of its runs against the Cougars’ third reliever, Brandon Kinser.
Littlewood called the game “an anomaly” and said, “You will never see another 20-3 game between BYU and Utah again, I don’t think.”
The carnage started early.
BYU sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning and scored six runs on just four hits. Then came the BYU second, which lasted nearly an hour. The Cougars sent 18 batters to the plate and scored 12 runs on 10 hits.
Caldwell also tripled in the second, tying a school record for triples in a game set last year by Jacob Hanneman and Adam Law. Jarrett Jarvis and Brock Whitney delivered two-run singles in the marathon inning and the Utes committed three errors to prolong it. Dillon Robinson, Brennon Lund, Caldwell and Bret Lopez also drove in runs in the inning.
On the other side, Utah couldn’t touch BYU starter Desmond Poulson, who allowed three hits and no runs and struck out seven in five innings of work. Hayden Rogers and Rhett Nelson held the Utes hitless in three innings before Kinser took over in the ninth and gave up run-scoring hits to Konnor Armijo and Max Schuman.
College baseball BYU 20, Utah 3
O The Cougars score 18 runs in the first two innings and cruise past the Utes in their home baseball opener.