BYU shook off three losses on its trip to Baton Rouge to pound LSU’s bullpen and give the No. 3 Tigers their first loss of the season 9-4 Saturday night in Alex Box Stadium.
The Cougars’ No. 9 hitter, Brennon Anderson, broke the game open with a three-run homer in a five-run sixth and added a two-run single later.
BYU (3-5) blew a ninth-inning lead to lose to LSU 6-5 on Thursday and scored a total of three runs in losses to Southeastern Louisiana on Friday and Saturday.
“Thank goodness we got one out of it,” said BYU starter Mark Anderson (1-0), who gave up three hits and three runs in 6.1 innings. “We came down hoping to get three or four, and luckily, we got one. And we got it from the team that we wanted it from. We came down wanting LSU.”
LSU (5-1) and SLU (5-1), which beat BYU 3-2 Saturday, will resume Friday’s suspended game at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Cougars, who entered the final game batting .231, found their offense, thanks primarily to the bottom of the order. The last four hitters in the lineup combined for eight of the nine RBIs.
“Against LSU the first night, we had 11 strikeouts, and the bottom five of our lineup had eight of those strikeouts,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “So we really put the pressure on those guys to make some adjustments.”
It paid off against reliever Nate Fury (1-1) in the sixth as BYU broke from a 1-1 tie.
After one out, Jaycob Brugman and Brock Whitney singled and Kelton Caldwell doubled home Brugman. Bret Lopez’s sacrifice fly made it 3-1 before Fury walked Dakota Hernandez. Anderson then ripped an inside fastball for a three-run homer to left for a 6-1 lead, finishing Fury, who gave up four hits and five runs in one inning.
“Brennon Anderson came through like a champ today,” Littlewood said. “He started the season hitting second in the lineup and he struggled so we moved him to the nine hole. He’s a really good hitter but he’s a freshman and he acted like a freshman for the first couple of games. He’s starting to grow up a little bit.”
Anderson said he’s more comfortable batting ninth.
“It gives me an opportunity to see the pitcher a little longer and also to get more fastballs hitting in the nine spot,” Anderson said.
BYU increased the lead to 7-1 against Will LaMarche in the seventh. Hayden Nielsen led off with a walk and Adam Law followed with a double to left. Brugman followed with the Cougars’ third sacrifice fly of the game.
LSU cut into the deficit in the seventh. With one out, Chris Sciambra was hit by a pitch and Mark Laird singled, finishing Mark Anderson, a three-year letterman who called the outing “probably the best game I’ve pitched in college.”
Derek Speigner relieved and threw a wild pitch before Alex Bregman hit a two-run double off the wall in left.
Brennon Anderson’s two-run single against Hunter Newman made it 9-3 in the eighth, and Mason Katz hit a sacrifice fly for the Tigers in the ninth.
“We’ve been real close the last couple games,” Anderson said. “We’ve been one big hit away. We had the opportunity to get big hits and we capitalized.”
LSU took a 1-0 lead in the first when Sciambra drew a leadoff walk, advanced on a grounder and a walk and scored on Katz’s single to right.
Bonvillain sailed through the first four innings, allowing just a single and striking out four. Then he lost command in the fifth.
Whitney led off with a single to right and Caldwell doubled him to third. Bonvillain hit Lopez with a 3-2 pitch to load the bases.
Hernandez’s sacrifice fly tied the score before Bonvillain walked Anderson to load the bases again. Jacob Hannemann hit into a forceout at the plate and Fury came on the get a grounder from Nielsen to end it.
“Bonvillain gave us four really good innings,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said, “then he just kind of hit the wall.”
So did the Tigers, who will be back on the field about 16 hours after this one ended.
The suspended game is scoreless and will resume in the bottom of the first with Katz facing a 1-1 count with Tigers runners on first and third.
Ticket stubs from Friday’s game are good for admittance to Sunday’s resumption.
“We’ve got to turn the page on this one quickly and come ready to play,” Sciambra said. “The key is to not let this loss roll into tomorrow.”