OREM — The game matched the weather Tuesday night in Utah Valley’s crazy 12-8 win over Utah at Brent Brown Ballpark.
Severe wind conditions contributed heavily to misplayed balls in the outfield and also balls traveling farther than normal.
Fortunately for the Wolverines, they were the beneficiaries of the unusual conditions.
“I felt our hitters did a good job of just playing into the conditions and competing,” said UVU coach Eric Madsen. “We had a lot of good fortune, which was good to see. We haven’t had that a lot, but I thought guys did a better job of just competing at the plate tonight.”
A lot of UVU’s good fortune at the plate came in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
With Utah leading 2-1, first baseman Craig Brinkerhoff's high fly ball rode a stiff wind all the way out to the right-field wall, resulting in an RBI triple. One batter later it was right fielder Craig Brinkerhoff riding that same wind direction, hitting a two-run home run over the right-field fence to put the Wolverines up 4-2.
The Utes quickly took back the lead, 5-4, before Brinkerhoff tied things up with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. Zach Slesk and Jordy Hart then contributed RBI singles of their own to push UVU in front 7-5 entering the seventh.
From there, UVU built the lead to 9-5 after the seventh and 12-8 after the eighth with just about every bat through the lineup contributing.
"Our whole lineup did a good job," Madsen said. "There were some big (at-bats) in there."
The Wolverines combined for 13 hits, with every position save catcher Seth Rhineer contributing at least one hit.
UVU also benefited from five Utah errors — three of which came during the three-run bottom of the eighth inning. The ever-changing wind conditions wreaked havoc on the Utes' ability to cleanly field fly balls, which contributed to all three unearned runs.
"I think we were able to adjust to the conditions better than they were tonight," Madsen said.
Utah was led by shortstop Cody Scaggari, who had a game-high four hits on five at-bats.
With the win UVU improves to 16-22 and will next take on Northern Colorado in a three-game home series beginning Friday.
Utah drops to 12-24 and will host Nevada in a three-game series of its own over the weekend.