Utes Avenge Cougars in First Round of MWC Tourney

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FT. WORTH, Texas (May 20, 2008)--Utah avenged trophy and series losses last week to with a 9-3 victory Tuesday over BYU in round one of the Mountain West Conference Championships.

There was no magic against the Utes this time like the Cougars experienced last Friday and Saturday in coming behind. BYU dug another deep hole and couldn't get out of it or get Utah out.

The Ute's Brian Budrow handcuffed Cougar hitters through six innings, allowing three base-runners in that span. Dan Vargas singled in the first inning, but was caught stealing. Budrow gave up walks to Andrew Law in the third and Kasey Ko in the fourth.

Utah took advantage of Cougar errors at rightfield and at shortstop, a walk and a hit batsman mainly after two outs, twice paving the way for two-run homers in the third and fourth innings by Dustin Hennis and Corey Shimada.

"I told my team after the third inning that we've got to chip away and put pressure on them, but we went fishing away at the slider," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "We just didn't swing the bats well and you aren't going to have too much success when that happens."

Steve Parker hit a towering two-run homer, scoring Kent Walton who got on base with an error to start the seventh inning. Thus BYU avoided being shutout for the first time since April 2007 when TCU won 7-0 in Fort Worth.

In the eighth BYU threatened with runners on the corners, but Budrow enticed Walton to ground out to third base--the fifth time of the game to the hot corner and second of that inning.

The Cougars loaded the bases with no outs to start the ninth before Brandon Relf grounded into a double play on which pinch-runner Michael Bowen scored the final run.

BYU falls to 22-35 overall, while Utah improved to 24-26. The Cougars play San Diego State on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the survivor/elimination game.

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