SALT LAKE CITY — Despite a comeback that saw the Utah baseball team rally from an early eight-run deficit to tie the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Utes fell to USC, 15-10 in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon.
USC took an 8-0 lead after scoring two runs in the second inning, followed by a six-run third inning. Down 10-2 going into the sixth inning, the Utes rallied for seven runs to put the score within a run, 10-9.
In the bottom of the ninth with pinch-runner Cody Scaggari and Cory Hunt on base with two outs, Braden Anderson singled to center field to drive in Scaggari and tie the game at 10-10.
In the 10th inning, USC scored five runs on three hits to come back and take a 15-10 lead. Although Tyler Relf singled with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, the Trojans got three fly outs to end the game.
"Our ability to come back was the bright spot of the ball game," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "We're resilient. I'm very proud of our guys for battling back and giving us a great chance to win, but ultimately we didn't get it done.
"[USC] had a whole bunch of hits and a whole bunch of base runners. Our pitching has been our strength all year, and it caught up to us today. Days like this happen. On the flip side, our offense came around and put us in a position to win in the ninth inning."
Utah had 15 hits and two errors, while USC tallied 22 hits and had four errors.
Utah was led at the plate by Relf and Wyler Smith, who each had three hits. Kody Davis, Trey Nielsen and TJ Bennett each drove in two runs.
Utah used four pitchers on the mound. Starter Tanner Banks pitched 2 2/3 innings in his second start back from injury, allowing seven runs on nine hits with two strikeouts. Luke West threw four innings, allowing three runs with three strikeouts. Josh Chapman pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with a strikeout, and would earn the loss on the mound to fall to 3-2 on the year. Nick Green threw one inning, surrendering three runs (two earned) on two hits. He struck out two.
Down 8-0, Utah scored its first run of the game in the third inning on an RBI single from Davis after Hunt doubled with two outs. USC added solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings, while the Utes also scored a run in the fourth inning after three-straight hits from Relf, Smith and Bennett.
Utah had five hits and took advantage of three USC errors in the seven-run sixth inning. Relf and Smith started the inning off with singles before Bennett hit a double down the left field line to score Relf. Konnor Armijo and Hunt reached on errors to allow two additional runs to score. Davis hit a sacrifice fly, and Nielsen hit a deep infield single to plate two runs. Connor Eppard added an RBI double for the Utes in the inning.
Utah returns to the diamond at BYU on Tuesday, April 23, at 6:00 p.m. MT.
SALT LAKE CITY – Sophomore Mariah Ramirez went 4-for-6 at the plate and pitched 9.0 innings to help the University of Utah softball team split a doubleheader with No. 2/3 Arizona State in Pac-12 Conference action on Sunday at Utah Softball Stadium.
The Utes clinched their second straight Pac-12 home series victory with a 6-5 win during the first game of the day, but ASU came back to avoid the sweep with a 6-4 win in the finale. Utah also took two of three from No. 15 UCLA Apr. 6-7 in Salt Lake City.
Utah (21-24-1, 6-12 Pac-12) received an impressive versatile performance from Ramirez throughout the day. She led the Utes with four hits in six at-bats for a .667 batting average to go with an RBI in addition to posting a 3.89 ERA in 9.0 innings on the mound, allowing a total of five earned runs on 11 hits with five walks and four strikeouts.
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