It Was THAT Kind of Day for BYU

By Eric Sorenson. Posted on February 23rd, 2012 in Thursday thoughts
 

Still a day away from game one of the Texas-Stanford series, so I decided to get my wanderlust on and head over to see the first-ever game for BYU in the West Coast Conference. The Cougars were taking on St. Mary’s in the lovely hamlet of Moraga, where, unfortunately for Big Love U., everything went the Gaels’ way.

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WHAT I SAW AT LOUIS GUISTO FIELD

- MORAGA, Ca.

St. Mary’s… pretty solid club. Loved the pitching on starting ace Martin Agosta. Good swings at the dish. Some solid gloves. Not bad. The Gaels hope to live up to their basketball brethren and make a big mid-major wave, and today was a good exhibition of that as they put together a solid all-round game to down their new conference mates 7-2.

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LINESCORE.

BYU – 010 000 001 -  2   9  1

SMC – 031 002 10x -  7 10  0

WP: Martin Agusto (1-0)

LP: Chris Capper (0-2)

Save: None

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TOP HITTERS.

BYU:

- Alex Wolfe, 2-for-3, walk

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SMC:

- Donald Collins, 3-for-4, 4RBI, triple

- Brendan Kalfus, 1-for-3, triple

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IN A NUTSHELL.

The Cougars jumped to an early lead, 1-0 after an inning and a half, helped by the powerful swing of DH Alex Wolfe and an RBI single from Wes Guenther. But that may have been about it for highlights for the boys from “This is the place” Valley. In the bottom of the 2nd, a key one-out error eventually led to a bases-loaded situation (don’t early errors ALWAYS come back to haunt a team? Especially early in the year.). Then, 9-hole hitter Donald Collins rapped a sonic shot to the left-center wall and eventually cleared the bases as he ended up sliding into 3rd. Sure enough, that 3-1 lead would be all SMC needed.

With Agosta on the hill, throwing everything down low in the zone and inducing numerous groundouts and a pair of rally-killing double-plays, the Gaels were in fine shape from there. Six of Agosta’s eight innings were three-and-outs, as mentioned a line ago, two of them helped by twin-killings from his defense behind him. Agosta ended the day giving up seven hits, but they were very well scattered. He also had six Ks and about 100 ground ball outs.

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IT WAS OVER WHEN…

The Clutch Plays of the SMC defense took over.

There were three innings where BYU would get a runner on base with one out or less but each time they Coogs came up snake-eyes. In the 5th, 6th and 7th innings, BYU got a runner picked off first base and a pair of double plays respectively, to end what could have been rallies to make this one a game again.

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KEY STAT.

0

That was the amount of errors the St. Mary’s defense committed on the day. In fact, it was the defense that made the difference as BYU had nearly as many hits as the Gaels did, 10-to-9. But the lockdown D and good decision-making made the biggest difference.

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GAME BALL GOES TO…

- Donald Collins, St. Mary’s centerfielder

You could certainly make a case for starting pitcher Martin Agosta, but he had a lot of defense behind him with clutch plays in their pockets. It was Collins (again, he’s the No. 9 hitter in the order) who came up biggest of all, ripping the go-ahead triple in his first at-bat and getting successive singles the next two times up. He finished 3-for-4 with 4RBI and also stole a base.

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PICS

More images from the game.

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I see that Jedd Soto is a fan of the Mike Fox school of pre-game prayers where his players all take a knee around him while he's standing, as if God-like himself.

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Starting pitcher Martin Agosta uncorks another wicked wielding amongst the backdrop of the scenic Moraga Valley.

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The large gathering of scouts behind home plate was pleased with what they saw out of Agosta.

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Donald Collins (9) gets the hero welcome after coming back from hitting his 3-run triple which gave St. Mary's the lead for good in the 2nd inning.

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In the 3rd inning, Troy Channing, a former Freshman All American, brought the curtains down on BYU with a 2-run triple.

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Two innings later Channing would pick off Wes Guenther on this throw to first, ending a 5th inning threat for the Coogs.

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Meanwhile, SMC's Cole Norton wouldn't make the same mistake, getting back to first safely here.

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Jaycob Brugman goes all out for this liner. "I got it. I got it. I got it..."

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OOF!... "I ain't got it."

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St. Mary's left fielder Cole Norton, who looks like he's wearing one of those Pat Venditte dual-handed gloves, appears to have a bead on this liner. "I got it. I got it. I got it..."

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OOF!... "I ain't got it."

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Martin Agosta leaves the mound after the 8th inning and gets congrats from his dugout.

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BYU head coach Vance Law didn't get many baserunners to his 3rd base coaching box today.

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Here's a view of the old Louis Guisto Field, which was tucked against the hillside on campus. It will soon be razed to become a new athletics building with offices, weight rooms and also where the Olympic sized swimming pool will be.

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The new Louis Guisto Field sits just beyond the right field fence of the old one. It isn't much to look at yet, but the new field was phase one, building a brand new grandstand around it will be phase two of the project, which will start after this season is done. Sketches make it look pretty nice and perfectly sized for a school of St. Mary's enrollment.

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OTHER THURSDAY NOTES.

- The Ex-MLBers

In my pre-season Baldcast on ESPN.com, I talked about this possibly being “make or break years” for three former big leaguers who had taken over as head coaches in Division One baseball: San Diego State’s Tony Gwynn, Pacific’s Ed Sprague and BYU’s Vance Law. All three of them have struggled in the first week of the season, with the Aztecs losing two of three at home to Washington, losing 7-1 to UC Riverside in the midweek and then today’s 7-2 loss to Kansas State, the Tigers going 0-and-5 (albeit it in three games vs. Cal, one to Stanford in 11 innings and today’s 10-7 loss to Oregon State) and today’s loss for the Cougars puts them at 2-2.

- The State of Oregon.

Not only are you not allowed to pump your own gas in this state (it’s true, google it), but the Beaver State is quickly becoming the Baseball State. Oregon won at Belmont 13-4 today and Oregon State beat Pacific as mentioned above. That improves both squads to 4-1 on the first seven days of the 2012 season as UO moves across town to play at Vanderbilt starting tomorrow and the Beavers continue their San Diego Tournament with a game at SDSU tomorrow (at 6pm Pacific time, televised by The MTN – channel 616 on DIRECTV). Also, Portland has done just like the rest of the WCC and gotten off to a solid start at 3-0, including two blowout wins at Stephen F. Austin last weekend. The Pilots will host Creighton this weekend in what should be a good test.

- Early candidate for defensive play of the year.

Check out this home-run robbing catch by Louisville centerfielder Adam Engel, made it Wednesday’s win over Eastern Kentucky. Here’s the link you can copy and paste into your browser:

http://www.uoflsports.com/allaccess/?media=304480

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Okay, that’s enough for now. Gotta get my ugly sleep. More tomorrow from a couple more Bay Area locales.

G’night.

 

COMMENTS:

February 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm
Pushywrap says:

Nice pics, Stitch! Keep’em comin’.