SALT LAKE CITY — Behind a solid performance on the mound and timely hitting at the plate, the Utah baseball team shut out Washington, 6-0, on Saturday afternoon.
The Utes used three pitchers, with Joe Pond getting the win after going 51/3 innings, striking out two and giving up seven hits. He picked up his third win of the year. Kesley Kondo threw three shutout innings with four strikeouts, while Tyler Wagner entered the game with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth and got a strikeout and ground out to end the game.
Ethan Leiter led Utah at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance. Parker Morin had two RBI on the day. Six different players had hits.
Although the Utes were outhit, 10-7, Washington stranded 10 runners on base during the game compared to three for Utah.
"Joe really battled through and gave us five really good innings," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "Kesley was really good in some big spots for us. The key for us today was that we executed at the plate with runners on base, despite being outhit."
Utah started the scoring early, as James Brooks led off the bottom of the first inning with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Tyler Relf before scoring on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Morin.
The Utes added to their lead in the bottom of the third. Tyson Gonzalez reached base on an error and Cory Hunt successfully executed the hit-and-run with a double to the left field corner to send Gonzalez across the plate.
Utah added solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Leiter scored in the fifth after a leadoff triple, and Shaun Cooper hit his eighth home run of the year in the sixth inning.
The Utes plated two insurance runs in the eighth inning. Relf and Morin hit back-to-back leadoff triples, and Morin scored on a sacrifice fly two batters later.
Washington left two runners on base in the first, second and sixth innings, while leaving the bases loaded in the ninth inning.
Utah will go for the series win against Washington on Sunday, April 29, at noon, at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
BYU BASEBALL: At San Francisco, a pitchers' duel turned in favor of host San Francisco Saturday afternoon as the Dons defeated BYU 2-0.
Those runs came in the sixth inning for USF (21-26, 8-7) as it won the series against BYU (18-17, 7-5).
Pitchers Desmond Poulson and Alex Balog had a standoff, until Balog's teammates milked a pair of singles for a 2-0 lead in the sixth.
The Cougars, still battling for second place in the West Coast Conference, were unable to cash in on at least three offensive opportunities.
BYU loaded the bases in the fourth inning in an unusual fashion. Freshman shortstop Tanner Chauncey got the first Cougar hit of the game, a single to second base. Chauncey advanced to third when Wes Guenther stopped midway to first base on a sacrifice bunt, but was not tagged out.
After an umpire conference, it was ruled that Guenther had been called out, but Chauncey was allowed to stay at third because of an errant toss to first. Then Jaycob Brugman drew a walk and attempted to steal second, but Kelton Caldwell was called out because of batter interference. Brugman later stole second before Alex Wolfe drew a walk.
"Some crazy things happened and that changed the complexion of the game," BYU coach Vance Law said. "We could have had first and third with no one out, then we got called out with interference at home plate. That inning really hurt us and took away a lot of momentum. It seemed like every call went against us today, we're not catching any breaks, but we need to generate our own."
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