Baseball roundup: Utes drop finale of opening series

Published: Sunday, Feb. 17 2013 11:39 p.m. MST

LOS ANGELES — The Utah baseball team dropped the rubber match of its season-opening series against Loyola Marymount on Sunday afternoon, 11-2.

Loyola Marymount used big innings for the win, scoring six runs in the fourth inning and five runs in the eighth inning.

Utah would get on the board first with a run in the third inning but LMU used seven hits in the fourth inning to take a 6-1 lead. Colton Plaia hit a two-RBI double and Zac Fujimoto had a two-RBI single for the Lions in the inning. LMU added five runs on four hits, aided by two Utah errors in the eighth inning.

Ute starter Joe Pond went 3 2/3 innings and picked up the loss, allowing six runs on six hits with two strikeouts.

The Utes return to the diamond with a four-game series against UC Davis beginning on Friday.

UTAH VALLEY

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Utah Valley University rallied late but could not complete a comeback, falling 6-4 to Gonzaga in its final game at the Palm Springs Invitational on Sunday.

Trailing 5-0 in the eighth, the Wolverines (1-3) scored four times to get within a run but stranded the tying run at third. Gonzaga (2-2) added an insurance run in the ninth for the final 6-4 tally.

"It's certainly disappointing to come here and finish the way we did after starting with a win," head coach Eric Madsen said. "I'm happy with the way we tried to fight back today but the key is to avoid putting ourselves in that position. We have a lot to work on. This was a good weekend for us to gauge some things but definitely not the result we want or expect."

Jordy Hart led off the eighth with a base hit and four others followed with singles. Freshman Spencer Gothberg, in his first at-bat as a Wolverine, singled home the first run. Kai Hatch's base hit scored Willie Pratt for the second run and Colby Croft had an RBI on a groundout to make it 5-3.

Court Zollinger, who finished with three hits on the day, delivered an infield single to plate Gothberg and make it 5-4 but Kade Andrus' sharp grounder was hit right at shortstop Steven Holcomb to stall the comeback attempt.

After the Bulldogs scored a run in the ninth, Hart again led off the inning with a single, but Michael Rucker struck out the next three hitters to earn the save.

Derek Callahan pitched seven scoreless innings before running into trouble in that four-run eighth. He eventually was charged with three of the runs but came away with the win. Blake Krahenbuhl took the loss for UVU.

Gonzaga scored twice in both the first and third innings to take a 4-0 lead after three.

Clayton Eslick doubled home Mitchell Gonsolus to start the scoring in the first. Gonsolus reached when what looked to be a single took a bad hope and turned into a triple. Eslick later scored on a sac-fly by Marco Gonzales to make it 2-0.

The Bulldogs added another run in the fourth to lead 5-0.

In addition to Zollinger, Hart also had a three-hit day for Utah Valley. Gonsolus, Travis Forbes and Cabe Reiten had three hits each as part of a 15-hit afternoon for Gonzaga.

Braden Poole and Brian Whatcott both made their first appearances since the 2010 season. Poole pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning after two years away on an LDS mission; Whatcott pitched the ninth after missing two seasons due to injury.

The Wolverines travel head to the Northwest for a three-game series at West Coast Conference Portland beginning Friday. UVU will then head to Tucson for a two-game midweek against 2012 College World Series champion Arizona.

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