SAN FRANCISCO, CA — This time it was the University of San Francisco baseball team’s turn to come from behind and win a game. Thanks to crooked numbers in three consecutive innings and a four-spot in the top of the 10th, the Dons were able to come back from a 3-0 deficit and even their West Coast Conference series against host BYU with a 10-6 extra-innings win at Miller Park.
The Dons (6-15, 2-3 WCC) and Cougars (8-12, 4-1 WCC) went into extra innings for the second straight day Friday. Luke Keaschall recorded his third RBI of the day in the top of the 10th with a run-scoring single to put USF ahead, 7-6. Ryan Davis gave the Dons some breathing room with a bases-loaded, two-run double to make it 9-6, and a wild pitch brought home the fourth run of the rally to make it 10-6.
Jesse Barron (1-2), who previously had walked multiple batters and allowed multiple runs in three of his last four appearances, came in and shut down BYU with perhaps his best outing of the year. He threw 2 1/3 perfect innings, striking out four and not allowing a single hit or walk to earn his first career victory.
“These guys, I’m telling you,” quipped San Francisco head coach Nino Giarratano. “Ryan Davis, he’s had some of the biggest hits in a season that I’ve ever seen. The home run he had at home against Cal to win and get us on the right track, the double he had at Cal against their closer on Thursday, the base hit he had against Stanford to put us ahead in the ninth, the double today, the base hit against Pepperdine – he should have five game-winning hits and he only has one.”
Josh Mollerus stepped into the game two starter role and performed admirably. He worked six innings – the longest outing of his career – not allowing a walk and striking out two. He allowed four runs, but kept BYU scoreless in four of the six frames he threw.
“So happy for Josh,” said Giarratano. “He did something no one’s been able to do and that’s throw strikes. If you don’t walk anybody, you can get into the sixth inning of a game. He threw the fastball really well. Other than the three runs they got in the second, he was phenomenal. Jesse Barron came in today and that’s the guy we thought we’d have all year. Don’t forget the outs Grant Young came in and got. The bases-loaded jam he got us out of (in the seventh) and the first two outs of the next inning. Really happy about that.”
Keaschall went 3 for 5 with three RBIs, three runs scored and his first career home run – a two-run shot in the sixth that gave the Dons a 4-3 lead. Jacob Munoz hit his fourth home run of the season, also a two-run shot, gave USF a 6-4 lead in the seventh.
Right-handed pitcher Grant Nechak will start for the Dons in the series finale, scheduled for a noon PDT first pitch on Saturday. Fans can find all live coverage links on USFDons.com.
“Gotta rely on Nechak,” said Giarratano. “It’s time for (Eric) Reyzelman to step up and give us three solid innings. It’s time. It’s time for those guys to step up and do something. Offensively, I don’t know how (BYU) is gonna stop us. We’re in a pretty good position if we can pitch.”
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