SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Ryan McCarthy provided all the offense with a first-inning grand slam and three pitchers combined to strike out 15 batters for Santa Clara baseball in Thursday's 4-2 series-opening win over first-place BYU.
Russell Grant II yielded just one earned run and posted eight strikeouts over six innings, and McCarthy went 4-for-4 for the Broncos (12-38, 5-20 West Coast Conference) who retired 10 of the final 11 Cougar batters.
BYU starter Jordan Wood allowed the first three batters of the game to reach base and McCarthy was able to cash in with his first-career grand slam.
Cam Allie singled, Jason Dicochea was hit by a pitch and Andre Nnebe walked, and then with one out away McCarthy took the first pitch from Wood and sent it over the left field wall for his fourth homer of the season.
Grant II (3-4) was in control until the sixth when the Cougars (34-15, 17-8) scored twice. Casey Jacobsen led off with a home run and Danny Gelalich, who doubled, scored on a pair of infield errors by the Broncos, but Grant II struck out the final two batters to escape the jam.
Despite the loss, the Cougars remained one-half game ahead of Gonzaga in the WCC standings.
Wood (5-3) suffered the loss for BYU after surrendering seven hits and all four runs in six innings.
The Cougars, who had seven hits, stranded 12 on base as the Broncos held them to 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
The Broncos and BYU continue their three-game series on Friday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.