OREM, Utah — A pair of freshman had big nights at the plate as Utah Valley University opened a four-game Great West Conference series with a 12-3 win over NYIT on Thursday night at Brent Brown Ballpark.
Greyson Bogden had his first career four-hit night, and Mark Krueger connected on his first home run for the Wolverines (21-24, 12-5). Willie Pratt also homered on a night that UVU had its entire lineup collect at least one hit and finish with 17 hits as a team.
“I thought we were anxious early on but all of the sudden it clicked and we were able to score some runs,” UVU head coach Eric Madsen said. "It was nice to see (Devin) Nelson get the win. He’s been a hard-luck pitcher a lot and it was good for the offense to generate some runs for him.”
Nelson improved to 4-4 after lasting six innings and allowing three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. Justin Campbell picked up his first save, finishing the game with three scoreless innings and striking out four.
After a walk allowed the first Utah Valley run to score in the second, Krueger homered on the first pitch of his at-bat off James Bulva in the third inning to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead.
The Bears (9-39, 7-14) got on the board in the fourth after Ali Rodriguez singled and Dan Lackner doubled to put two in scoring position. Alex Angus grounded out to second, bringing in Rodriguez and cutting the UVU lead to 2-1.
Utah Valley plated four runs in the fifth to take a 6-1 lead with Pratt leading off the inning with his home run to right-center. Bogden singled and Kai Hatch doubled before a base hit by Krueger brought home Bogden.
Krueger later scored on an RBI single by Riley White before Colby Croft’s double drove in White to cap the four-run frame.
With Rodriguez aboard after a base hit in the sixth, Lackner homered over the wall in right-center to make it 6-3.
Utah Valley pulled away with six runs on seven hits in the eighth inning. Five different players had RBI hits in the inning, including a two-run single by Taylor Berg.
In addition to Bogden's four-hit night, Krueger and White each had three hits and two RBIs for Utah Valley. Rodriguez had three hits to pace NYIT.
The series continues Friday with a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. MT.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.