College sports roundup: Arizona Wildcats stifle Utah Ute rally

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, April 7 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — After rallying from a 7-0 deficit to tie the game at 7-7, the Utes fell in the late innings to close out the series with Arizona, 11-7.

Arizona scored two runs in the second inning and three runs in the third to take a 7-0 lead before the Utes started their comeback with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Tyler Relf started things off with a bunt single, and moved around to third after a bobbled catch on a ground ball from James Brooks. Relf scored when Connor Eppard grounded out, and Parker Morin singled in Brooks.

After stranding two on in the fourth inning, Utah had five-straight hits in the fifth inning en route to scoring five runs and tie the game at 7-7. Shaun Cooper had the big hit for Utah in the inning with a bases-loaded two-RBI double, which included hits from Brooks, Eppard, Trey Nielsen and Morin. Although Biss Larsen had a late double to the left field corner in the inning, he was one of two runners stranded on base.

Arizona pulled back ahead in the sixth off singles from Joey Rickard and Alex Mejia. The Wildcats added an insurance run in the eighth inning. Although they loaded the bases with just one out, pitcher Tony Vocca got out of the inning allowing just one run on a sacrifice fly.

Utah had its chances in the late innings, stranding two runners on base in both the sixth and eighth innings. In the eighth, the Utes had one-out back-to-back singles from Morin and Nielsen, but Arizona reliever Mathew Troupe struck out the next two batters to end the Utah rally.

Arizona scored two more runs in the top of the ninth after Ryan Moore had an RBI triple and scored on a wild pitch.

"I was proud of the way that we got back into the game today, but unfortunately we couldn't get the key hit in the late innings," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said.

Utah was led at the plate by Morin, who had a 4-for-5 day. Nielsen and Eppard each had two hits with Eppard also adding two RBIs. Cooper also drove in two runs.

Utah starter Kesley Kondo pitched 21/3 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits. Tanner Tripp was strong over five innings, striking out four and allowing two runs on four hits. He earned the loss to fall to 0-2 on the season.

The Utes play their ninth home game in a row against Utah Valley on Tuesday at 6 p.m., before traveling to Washington State for a Pac-12 series beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

BYU 8, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 6: At Provo, Alex Wolfe's two-run double in the seventh inning gave BYU its only lead in the victory over the league-leader.

"It was a cheap double, but a double is a double," BYU coach Vance Law said of Wolfe's floater down the right field line. That double scored Jaycob Brugman and pinch-hitter Kelton Caldwell who singled to tie the game, 6-6, earlier that frame.

To the delight of most of the 1,931 fans in attendance, all four runs in that seventh came with two outs after LMU retired the first two batters of the inning.

"Wolfe battled and we can depend on him being ready to play," said Law of the senior co-captain who was two-and two in the seventh-inning count. "Every series is a big one. For us to take two of three against LMU was huge."

Those four runs weren't the only ones the Cougars scored with two outs. Down 5-0 in the fifth, BYU scored three of its four unearned runs with two out.

"We're a two-out team, we've been doing it all year," said BYU infielder Austin Hall. "Even though we are down, we find a way to score runs with two outs. I needed to get a big hit. I haven't played second this year, so it's nice Coach has confidence in me."

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