Diamond Dawgs crush BYU 12-4

SEATTLE - Kyle Conley hit his second home run of the game to highlight a six-run eighth inning as the Washington Huskies pulled away from BYU and beat the Cougars 12-4 in the middle game of a three-game non-conference series at Husky Ballpark on a sunny Friday night.

With the win, their 15th-straight against non-conference opponents, the Huskies improved to 23-9 while BYU dropped to 14-20.

After BYU cut a four run Husky lead from 6-2 to 6-4 on a two run homer by Dan Vargas, his sixth, in the top of the eighth, the Huskies got the runs back, and more, in the bottom half. Bradley Boyer led off with a walk. Then Conley, after taking a ball from fourth BYU pitcher Nelson Castleberry, hit a towering fly ball well beyond the left field wall for his eighth homer of the season, making it 8-4 Huskies. The two home runs gave Conley four in three games, and he also singled and walked twice, officially finishing 3 for 4 with four runs scored and three runs batted in.

The Huskies were not done with Conley's long ball, however. Ty Rasmussen walked before being lifted for pinch runner Brendan Gardner-Young. Gardner-Young moved to second on a wild pitch, took third on a grounder to second by Troy Scott, and scored on a line single to center by Andy Lentz, making it 9-4. Pinch hitter Jake Rife got hit by a pitch and Michael Burgher walked to load the bases. Julien Pollard stepped to the plate for David Bentrott and cleared the bases with a three run triple down the right field line.

The Huskies got on the board first and took a 2-0 lead in the third, scoring both runs with two outs. The first came on Conley's first homer of the game, a fly ball to right field that just kept carrying until it landed over the wall. Rasmussen chopped a single to center, moved to second on an infield single by Aaron Russell, and scored on a base hit into left by Sean Meehan.

The Cougars tied the game with two runs in the fourth. A throwing error by shortstop Bentrott allowed Sean McNaughton to reach safely, but he got caught stealing. They loaded the bases on back to back walks to Steve Parker and Vargas and an infield single by Jonathan Cluff. Then Bryce Ayoso lined a 1-1 pitch from Husky starter Cam Nobles into left field to plate Parker and Vargas and tie the game at 2.

Washington regained the lead at 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth with two runs. With one out, Conley singled to left and Rasmussen reached on an error by third baseman Parker. Russell blooped a single into left center to score Conley, and Rasmussen scored on a single off the glove of shortstop Vargas. The Huskies scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to make it 6-2. With one out Bentrott reached on an infield single and Conley walked intentionally. Rasmussen got the green light on a 3-0 pitch from Cougar starter Jake Wortham and drove it over the head of left fielder McNaughton to plate Bentrott. Parker then booted a ground ball by Scott, allowing Conley to score.

On the mound, Nobles got the win for the Huskies to improve to 3-1. He gave up two runs, both earned, on four hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out six. Tyler Cheney got his first save despite giving up the two run homer to Vargas in the eighth. He yielded three hits in three innings and struck out three. Wortham suffered the loss for BYU to drop to 2-2. He gave up six runs, four earned, on 10 hits and four walks in five and two thirds innings. He struck out five.

The Huskies look to sweep BYU when they host the Cougars in the finale of the series at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

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