SALT LAKE CITY — Utah used the long ball and superb pitching to lock up its first home baseball series win since joining the Pac-12, topping Washington State on Saturday afternoon, 2-1.
Trey Nielsen knocked two solo homers and three Utah pitchers combined to hold the Cougars' offense to a single run.
Nielsen hit round-trippers in the fourth and sixth innings to tie him for the Ute lead and give the squad all the runs it would need on this afternoon. The Utah first baseman is 3-for-8 with three runs scored in the series. He has three home runs this year.
"I've been seeing it well so far in this series," Nielsen said. "I was swinging late the first time I came up and then he left me a hanger and I made the adjustment. Luckily, it paid off and we got ourselves the 'W' here today."
Freshman hurler Dalton Carroll earned his third win of the year, allowing one run on only six hits in 61?3 innings. He also walked two batters while striking out four. Nick Green came on in relief for the second day in a row and pitched two innings of shutout ball, striking out two batters. Luke West retired the final two Cougars to earn his first save.
"Coming off the Arizona series, we knew we played well enough to get two games in that series," Carroll said. "We felt that if we kept playing our system and believing in our coaches that we'd get some positive results."
BYU: At Santa Clara, Calif., juniors Bret Lopez and Derek Speigner ignited BYU's baseball team to a come-from-behind 5-2 victory Saturday and three-game sweep over Santa Clara.
The duo helped BYU improve its record to 17-14 overall and 5-4 in the West Coast Conference, while Santa Clara fell to 8-21 and 0-9 in conference.
Lopez, BYU's designated hitter, tied the game at 2-2 with a solo homer to lead off the seventh inning after Speigner retired four straight Broncos. Lopez, who was 2-for-3 with three runs and a pair of RBIs, increased BYU's lead with a run-scoring double in the eighth.
Speigner continued with his unorthodox delivery, holding the Broncos hitless in his 41/3 innings of relief to earn his third win of the season.
UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY: At Newark, N.J., UVU split a Saturday doubleheader at NJIT, winning 5-1 before seeing a 39-game Great West Conference winning streak come to an end in the second game in a 9-7 loss.
The Wolverines (11-18, 2-1) rallied late in Game 2 but couldn't erase a 9-2 deficit in suffering their first loss in the conference regular season since the 2011 season. UVU had won 31 straight regular season games plus eight consecutive tournament games against GWC schools.
In the first game, Devin Nelson (2-3) pitched a complete-game four-hitter, allowing just one run while the offense came up with five doubles — two from Kai Hatch — in the win. Stone Ramsey had two hits, including a double, in handing Mark Leiter Jr. (3-5) a loss in a complete-game effort.
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE: At West Jordan, the Bruins (26-14, 14-10 SWAC) dropped a pair of Scenic West Athletic Conference home games to Western Nevada College (29-16, 14-11 SWAC) on Saturday, losing 9-3 and 4-3.
SLCC freshman pitcher Brady Corless took the loss in game one with eight strikeouts and three earned runs in five innings of work. Freshman infielder Zach Watts was 2-for-3 at the plate with one RBI and sophomore catcher Nathan Fishel was 1-for-3 with one RBI in the losing effort.
Bruin sophomore pitcher Rhett Nelson took the loss in the second game with three strikeouts and four earned runs allowed in 61/3 innings pitched.
DIXIE STATE UNIVERSITY: At St. George, Kody Christoffersen completed his second quality start in a row and got plenty of offensive support on Saturday afternoon as Dixie State defeated Holy Names, 11-1, to take their weekend Pacific West Conference series at Bruce Hurst Field.
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