It was difficult to tell just how many Brigham Young supporters were among the 3,060 fans in attendance during Tuesday nights Cougar Diamond Classic at Gesa Stadium.
Until the end of the game, that is.
While most of the Washington State fans were filtering out of the stadium to get a jump on the traffic, several hundred BYU faithful stayed to savor the final few minutes of their teams 3-0 win in its first appearance in the annual event.
Im sorry to the Pasco crowd. They deserved better from us. We didnt play well, Washington State coach Donnie Marbut said after his team fell to 2-4 in the Cougar Diamond Classic.
The crowd was the second largest in the history of the CDC, second only to the sellout crowd of 3,714 in the inaugural event in 2011.
For six innings, both teams struggled to find offense, combining for just eight hits.
In the seventh inning, however, BYU broke through against WSU reliever Sam Triece, touching up the senior right-hander for three runs on four hits.
Brock Whitney and Kelton Caldwell started things off with leadoff singles.
After Triece caught a failed bunt attempt by No. 6 hitter Jarrett Jarvis, it looked like WSU might just get out of trouble.
But thats when trouble began. C.J. Latham stroked a 1-2 pitch to right field, scoring Whitney from second. The throw from left fielder Ben Roberts was offline to third base, however, and got past Nick Tanielu, allowing Caldwell to score. The next batter, Parker Starr, singled home Latham from second base to make it 3-0 BYU.
We havent made an error in a long time, Marbut said. That was a bad play.
Washington State put a few runners in scoring position but rarely threatened to drive them in. Their best chance came in the second inning, when Roberts hit a leadoff single and stole second, then was sacrificed over to third by Matt Mendenhall, a Southridge High graduate.
But Ian Sagdal struck out and Tanner Chleborad flied out to right to end the frame.
WSU got something going in the fourth inning, as Tanielu walked to lead things off and Roberts reached on a bunt single. Kolton Mahoney then fielded Mendenhalls bunt attempt and quickly threw to third to get Tanielu. Robinson, the BYU third baseman, then tried to get Mendenhall at first, but his throw sailed high.
Whitney, the first baseman, recovered the ball in time to throw out Roberts at third.
Kennewick native Trek Stemp was one of a few WSU players to get a solid hit, a line-drive single to center in the first inning, but it wasnt enough to make the former Columbia Basin Big Nine player of the year happy.
The loss counts toward our record, but it doesnt really hurt us, Stemp said. I dont want to take anything away from BYU. Theyre a good team. Our attention is more on the Pac-12.
What did make Stemps day was a chance to come home and see his black labrador, Colt.
Hayden Rogers (1-1) ended up getting the win for BYU with 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Triece (1-2) took the loss for WSU.
Kellen Camus got the start his second of the year for WSU and pitched well, giving up just two hits in four scoreless innings. He found out just a day before the game that he would be starting, but thats part of life for the fourth-year senior.
After four years, you get used to it, said Camus, who used a steady diet of curveballs and changeups to offset his fastball. There was a lot of wind park. You dont have to worry about them barreling one up.