SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah baseball team scored early and often in an 8-6 win over Southern Utah on Tuesday afternoon.
Although Southern Utah scored a run in the top of the first, Utah tallied two runs in both the first and second innings, adding single runs in the third and fourth for a 6-1 lead through four innings. The Utes had several extra base hits in the early innings, with RBI triples from Shaun Cooper and Michael Beltran and RBI doubles from Cody Guymon and Tyler Relf.
The Thunderbirds rallied in the top of the sixth with four runs to cut the lead to 6-5. Justin Neuhart had a two-RBI double with the bases loaded as the big hit in the inning. The Utes added two insurance runs in the bottom of the inning. Cooper and Trent Johnson had RBI singles after Beltran led off the inning with a single to right field, increasing the Utah lead to 8-5.
SUU continued to battle, scoring a run in the eighth after Taylor Shaw reached on a throwing error. Southern Utah put a scare into the Utes in the ninth, loading the bases with three-straight singles to start the inning, but Ute closer Tyler Wagner got his fifth save of the season by forcing a pop-up and a double play groundout.
Utah starter Joe Pond went 5 1/3 innings, striking out nine along the way. Stephen Streich also pitched for 2 2/3 innings with four strikeouts.
Cooper led Utah with a 4-for-5 performance with two RBI. Beltran was 3-for-5.
The Utes return to the diamond on Friday at 6 p.m. to begin a three-game series against Air Force.
BYU 11, CREIGHTON 4: At Omaha, Neb., Austin Hall's two-run triple and Jaycob Brugman's three-run homer capped a seven-run first inning Tuesday which lifted BYU to an 11-4 victory over Creighton.
That cushion gave freshman Desmond Poulson a substantial boost toward his second win of the season on the mound.
"We played well with good intensity," said BYU coach Vance Law. "It was a big two-out rally in the first inning. Our hitters were more disciplined and determined at the plate. Desmond threw strikes and did a good job competing."
Freshman Brugman added a two-run homer in the third, to increase BYU's lead to 10-0. The right fielder also had a one-out double off a full count in the ninth.
The BYU combo of Stephen Wells, Andrew Law and Dillon Robinson completed a double play to end the fifth inning when a Bluejay attempted to take third base off a fly-out to center field.
No BYU batters were struck out by Creighton in this rematch.
BYU evened its record to 10-10, while the Jays' record is now 16-5. The Cougars now ready for Thursday's home opener against San Diego State.
DIXIE SWEEPS HAWAII-HILO: At St. George, head coach Mike Littlewood did a celebratory dance near the first base dugout Tuesday after his baseball team completed a five-game sweep of Hawaii-Hilo. Behind a dominating offense, the Red Storm won a pair of games 9-3 and 14-3 at Bruce Hurst Field.
Dixie State (17-7, 13-3 PacWest) embarks on a critical 13-game conference road swing beginning April 1 against Grand Canyon.