PULLMAN, Wash. — The Utah baseball team closed out its three-game series against Washington State with a 6-0 loss to the Cougars on Saturday afternoon.
Trey Nielsen led the Utes at the plate, going 3-for-4, while Tyler Relf and Gavin Green each had two hits.
Freshman pitcher Mitch Watrous made his first career start for the Utes, throwing four innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. He struck out two and earned the loss to fall to 2-1 on the season. Josh Chapman pitched three innings, allowing three runs on six hits with two strikeouts.. Blake Golding threw the final inning with a strikeout.
Washington State took advantage of Utah miscues for several of its runs. The Cougars scored two runs in the second with two outs after a throwing error, and added a run in the fourth inning, again with two outs, with a fielding miscue. Another two-out run came in the sixth inning after Jason Monda doubled when the Utah outfielder lost the ball in the sun, giving WSU a 4-0 lead.
The Utes had several chances in the early innings. The Utes led off the first, second third and fourth innings with runners reaching base and moving into scoring position, but Washington State pitcher Tanner Chleborad was able to prevent runs from crossing the plate. Chleborad threw 7 2/3 innings
"We had runners on base and had people in scoring position early and just did not convert," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "We had lots of chances early and didn't get that key hit and didn't execute offensively. We made a couple of errors and miscues that let them get their first four runs, so it was a disappointing day."
The Cougars added two insurance runs in the seventh inning, scoring two runs on four hits with RBI doubles from Adam Nelubowich and Ian Sagdal.
The Utes return to the state on Tuesday, April 17, facing BYU in Provo at 6:00 p.m. MT.
DIXIE STATE BASEBALL: At Waipahu, Hawai, If you are a fan of close baseball games, the Pacific West Conference series between Dixie State and Hawaii Pacific University at Hans L'Orange Park over the past two days would have been a study in excitement and clutch play. The clubs matched efforts of the opening two games by playing the final two games of their series to one-run totals.
The host Sea Warriors took Saturday's first game 6-5 and Dixie State got an excellent outing from a returning starter to take the finale 1-0 in seven innings.
Despite outhitting HPU 11-to-9, DSC freshman Jason Holmes struggled with control over five innings. He allowed three runs on four hits, but walked seven and had three wild pitches. The loss was his first in his collegiate career.
Jayden Darrington and Ammon Zitting each had three hits for the Red Storm.
In the series finale, Josh Mooney tossed seven scoreless innings to make a Tyson Littlewood RBI double in thethird inning the game-winning hit.
Mooney, who had not pitched since March 13, struck out six and scattered five hits. He battled against HPU starter John Albert, who tossed his second complete game loss against the Red Storm this season.
DSC will have one day off before travelling to the Big Island in preparation for the final road series of the year at Hawaii Hilo. A doubleheader with the Vulcans begins UTAH SOFTBALL: At Salt Lake City, The University of Utah softball team lost a pair of games to No. 19
15 Oregon at Ute Field on Sunday at Ute Field. The two teams finished yesterday's postponed game, which ended 6-2 in favor of Oregon, before the Ducks took an 11-1 win over the Utes in six innings during the second game of the day.
The Utah (23-18, 0-12 Pac-12) offense was bolstered by junior shortstop Kelsi Hoopiiaina throughout the day as she posted a 2-for-3 effort in game two.. She was the lone Ute with multiple hits during the Oregon series.
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