HOUSTON — The Utah Valley University baseball team pushed its winning streak to 27 games with a doubleheader sweep over Houston Baptist University Saturday at Husky Field. Despite battling 90-plus degree heat all day long, the Wolverines (34-11, 19-0 GWC) took Game 1, 7-5, and Game 2, 14-8.
"Our guys did a great job of staying focused and continuing to do what they do," said UVU head coach Eric Madsen. "We swung the bat pretty well and it was nice to see us get two more wins."
The Wolverines jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first game after two runs in the second, two in the third and two more in the fourth. HBU (18-26, 10-9 GWC) battled back and made it a 6-5 contest, however, late in the game as it scored two in the last of the fourth, two more in the fifth and a single run in the sixth.
Taylor Mangum came on for UVU when the Huskies were threatening for more in the sixth and pitched lights out, as he drew an inning-ending double play groundball from Kolby Arnst in the sixth. Then in the seventh he pitched around an error and drew a game-ending double-play ball from Asai Adame to help the Wolverines hold on to the seven-inning contest.
Mangum got credit for his second save of the year as he did not allow a hit in 12/3 innings, while the starter Preston Olson (6-0) picked up the win as he went the first 42/3 innings of the shortened seven-inning contest. HBU's Ryan Lower suffered the loss to fall to 1-3.
Offensively Kai Hatch and Austin Heaps both went 2 for 4 to lead the Wolverines. Hatch also drove home three runs and Heaps plated two more.
In the second game of the afternoon, Utah Valley jumped all over Houston Baptist's starter Ross Kennell as it scored five in the first and four more in the second, sending nine batters to the plate in each of the first two innings to take a quick 9-0 lead.
The Wolverines then extended their lead to 11-2 with two more runs in the third, but the Huskies answered with three in the third and two more in the fourth to make it an 11-7 contest.
After allowing two unearned runs in the fourth, UVU reliever Craig Brimhall settled down and pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth.
Sean Moysh added some insurance for the Wolverines with a two-run home run to right in the seventh and Hatch also drove home another run in the frame to extend UVU's lead to 14-7.
Josh Swenson then came on and pitched the final three innings for the Wolverines and gave up just one run while striking out two as UVU spoiled HBU's Senior Day with the doubleheader sweep.
Utah Valley slugged out 22 hits in the second game and eight of the nine Wolverine batters in the lineup recorded multiple hits.
Hatch and Heaps led the way for the Wolverines again as they each had four hits. Jake Rickenbach and Goose Kallunki also added three hits apiece as well.
Brimhall (1-1) picked up the win for the Wolverines and Swenson recorded his fifth save. HBU's Kennell took the loss to drop to 4-4 on the year.
The Wolverines and Huskies will close out the series Sunday with a 12 p.m. MT matinee.
UTAH BASEBALL: At Tempe, Ariz., James Brooks' third-inning home run was the only scoring for the Utah baseball team in a 17-1 loss to 20th-ranked Arizona State.
Arizona State used big innings to pull ahead for the win, including a five-run seventh inning, four-run third inning and three runs in the second and eighth innings.
Brooks' home run was his ninth of the season, which ties him for third in the Pac-12 in the category. The Utes scattered five hits throughout the game.
Utah used five pitchers, with starter Joe Pond earning the loss after allowing three runs on three hits over 11/3 innings. Josh Chapman, Tony Vocca, Tanner Tripp and Blake Golding also pitched, with Vocca going the longest with three innings.
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