OREM, Utah — After a six-run first inning, Utah Valley’s offense stalled and Utah climbed back to win, 7-6, on Tuesday night at Brent Brown Ballpark in Orem.
An RBI single by Trey Nielsen put the Utes (15-17) in front in the top of the first inning before the Wolverines (14-21) had their six-run output in the bottom half of the inning.
After that though, two Utah relievers — Luke West and Nick Green — limited the Wolverines to just two hits over the final 7.2 scoreless innings.
“Our guys went away from what gave them success. The little things cost us tonight. They may not seem important at the time but they cost us and they’re huge,” UVU head coach Eric Madsen said. “You’ve got to give Utah a lot of credit. They wanted to win a lot more than we did. They made a lot of good adjustments at the plate.”
In the first inning, UVU sent 10 hitters to the plate and were aided by a pair of Utah errors. The bases were loaded with nobody out when Kai Hatch singled home Stone Ramsey and Riley White to put the Wolverines up 2-1.
Kade Andrus scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Mark Krueger before Taylor Berg singled to score two more and make it 5-1. Jordy Hart capped the run scoring with an infield base hit that brought Krueger in from third.
Utah Valley had five hits in the frame, with four of the six runs coming in earned against Nielsen, who started on the mound and lasted 1.1 innings.
West, who was impressive in relief against UVU on March 19, didn’t allow a hit in his first 5.1 innings out of the bullpen on Tuesday. Hatch singled off West with two outs in the seventh but was stranded at third.
West (2-1) was the winning pitcher after allowing just the one hit and striking out eight in six innings. Green came on to get the save, his second, after tossing the final 1.2 innings. Devin Nelson (3-4) took the loss for UVU.
The Utes slowly chipped away on the offensive side, getting single runs in the third, sixth and seventh before plating three in the eighth to take a 7-6 lead.
Braden Anderson’s two-out, two-run single tied the game at 6-6. On the hit, Anderson ended up at third after a throwing error and then scored the go-ahead run, which came in unearned, on a bunt single by Tyler Relf.
The Wolverines had the tying run reach in the ninth when Andrus had a two-out single, but Green retired Hatch to end the game.
Hatch finished with three hits and two RBIs to lead UVU with Andrus and White both adding two hits. Utah, which out-hit UVU 14-8, got three hits apiece from Relf and Cory Hunt.
With the win, the Utes earned a sweep of the two-game season series over the Wolverines.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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