Utah Valley University erased a six-run deficit to take the lead but could not hang on, falling 10-9 to Seattle University after a game-winning home run in the top of the ninth by Cullen Hendrickson.
The loss drops the Wolverines (22-25 overall) to 13-9 in the Western Athletic Conference while the Redhawks (23-21 overall) improve to 11-8. The teams play a doubleheader Saturday starting at 2:30 p.m., after an impending storm on Sunday forced a schedule change.
UVU trailed 7-1 after a five-run fifth inning by Seattle but responded with eight straight runs, scoring four each in the fifth and the sixth innings. Despite the spurt, the Wolverines could not keep the momentum in dropping the series opener of the key league series.
“At this time of the season, when you have two teams fighting for position, you can’t give away the opportunities we did and create the chances we did for them,” head coach Eric Madsen said. “We need to clean it up and do a better job of playing aggressive and doing what we need to do to win.”
In Seattle’s half of the fifth, a pair of walks and two errors contributed to the five runs. Brock Carpenter hit a three-run home run to cap the scoring in the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Kade Andrus tripled home two runs, Sean Moysh had a sacrifice fly and Mark Krueger hit a no-doubt home run to right, tying him with Moysh for the team lead with six on the year.
Trailing 7-5 entering the bottom of the sixth, Utah Valley started the inning with four straight hits. Craig Brinkerhoff and Greyson Bogden singled to begin the inning, and Beau Kallas followed with an RBI double. Cam Zollinger singled home Bogden to tie the game at seven before a sac fly by Andrus, his third RBI of the day, gave the Wolverines an 8-7 lead.
Krueger singled to left center to drive in his third run of the game, scoring Zollinger to give UVU a two-run advantage. Seattle answered with one run in the seventh and eighth, tying it and setting up Hendrickson’s game-winner, a line drive down the line in right, in the ninth.
Hendrickson was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored while Carpenter drove in four on the night. Krueger’s three hits led Utah Valley.
Grant Gunning (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings to get the win while Kyle Valgardson (1-2) took the loss. Connor Moore pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his first save.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.