OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — Austin Heaps’ solo home run to lead off the eighth inning started a six-run rally as Utah Valley University pulled away late to win 11-2 over NYIT on Sunday, sweeping the four-game series and extending its winning streak to 32 games.
The Wolverines (39-11, 24-0 GWC) now return home for the final five games of the regular season before hosting the 2012 Great West Conference Tournament starting May 22 at Brent Brown Ballpark. UVU will next host in-state rival Utah on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MT.
Sean Moysh and Willie Pratt drove in three runs apiece for UVU while Josh Swenson picked up the win after striking out four in relief of Justin Campbell’s first start of the year. Both pitchers gave up just one run over four innings of work before Jeff Barto pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out the side in the process.
The game was tied at one until the sixth when Goose Kallunki singled to right to score Billy Burgess and give the Wolverines a 2-1 edge. The Bears tied it in the seventh on a two-out double by Dane Hardy before Heaps quickly helped UVU regain the lead with the shot to right center to begin the eighth.
Kallunki followed Heaps with a single and, after a sacrifice bunt by Kai Hatch and an error, two runs came in to score on Pratt’s base hit to right to make it 5-2.
Jake Rickenbach also drove in a run with a double and Moysh had two more RBIs with a single to cap the scoring and give Utah Valley an 8-2 advantage in the middle of the eighth.
The Wolverines would tack on three more in the ninth — on three bases-loaded walks to Pratt, Moysh and Rickenbach — for the final 11-2 tally.
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Four UVU players finished with two hits each, including Kallunki, who was making his first start since Friday’s opener after battling back spasms throughout the weekend. Kallunki’s run batted in extended his nation-leading total 74.
The 32 straight wins ties the 1972 Arizona State and 1988 Fresno State teams for third on the all-time consecutive games won list.
Following Tuesday’s game with Utah, the Wolverines close out the GWC regular season against Northern Colorado on Thursday at 6 p.m. MT.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit http://www.WolverineGreen.com