OREM — A pair of big sixth innings helped Utah Valley University to a doubleheader sweep of Northern Colorado, 7-2 and 11-6, on Friday at Brent Brown Ballpark.
With the victories, UVU (42-10) matches a school record with 42 wins on the year and remains perfect in Great West Conference play (27-0).
Tomorrow’s series finale will serve as UVU's final regular-season contest.
Jordy Hart had the go-ahead RBI in the first game during a five-run sixth after he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. He also had a grand slam in the nightcap during a seven-run sixth that helped the Wolverines turn a one-run deficit into a 10-4 lead.
Northern Colorado (25-30, 15-12) scored first in both games and led 2-0 in the fourth inning of the opener until Goose Kallunki led off the frame with his 17th home run of the year. It was his 79th RBI of the season and school record-tying 216th of his career. UVU tied it later in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Willie Pratt that brought in Kai Hatch.
After the hit pitch by Hart in the sixth, plating Kallunki, Jake Rickenbach followed with a bases-clearing double. Later in the inning, Billy Burgess singled home Rickenbach to give UVU a 7-2 lead.
Preston Olson and Taylor Mangum combined to limit the Bears to six hits with Mangum securing his fifth victory after throwing the final 1.2 innings of the scheduled seven-inning contest.
Kallunki went 3 for 3 while Alex Exon and Rickenbach each had two hits.
In Game 2, Northern Colorado led 1-0 in the fourth until a two-out throwing error with the bases loaded extended the inning and allowed the Wolverines to score three unearned runs and take a 3-1 lead.
The Bears scored one in the fifth and two more in the sixth to take a 4-3 lead. Adrian Schenk brought home Tony Crudo with one of his two triples in the contest and then scored when Kevin Hurd reached on a fielding error.
UNC had a chance to extend the lead when Derek Baum singled with one out, but Dylan Banach was ruled to have not touched home on a close play at the plate, allowing Taylor Berg to tag him out for the second out. The inning then ended when Taylor Anderson grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Utah Valley then got things going in the seven-run sixth, tying the game on an RBI double from Austin Heaps. Kallunki singled and Kai Hatch was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Berg, who gave UVU the lead with a sac-fly to left.
After Pratt reached on an error to again put a runner on every bag, Hart hit his second home run and first career grand slam to give the Wolverines a 9-4 lead. UVU tacked on another run in the inning after Sean Moysh singled, stole second and came in on a Burgess single.Comment on this story
The Bears added two in the seventh, the second coming on Schenk's second triple, before UVU tacked one on in the eighth after Pratt tripled and scored on Rickenbach’s sac-fly.
Heaps was 3 for 4 for Utah Valley while Schenk had three hits for UNC. Jeff Barto (2-0) got the win in 1.2 innings of relief with Nate Steinmetz taking the loss for the Bears.
The Wolverines will go for a perfect Great West regular season in Saturday’s finale, slated for 1 p.m. UVU is the host of the 2012 GWC Tournament, which begins next Tuesday. Prior to Saturday's game, the 10 UVU seniors will be honored.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.