OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — Utah Valley University notched its 29th-straight win and clinched its third-straight Great West Conference regular-seson crown after posting an 8-0 shutout victory over NYIT on Friday.
The Wolverines are ranked No. 27 by Collegiate Baseball.
Jake Rickenbach went 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles for the Wolverines (36-11, 21-0 GWC) and Adam Gunn and Ryan Chadwick combined on a five-hitter and the sixth shutout of the season for UVU.
Kai Hatch added four hits and scored two runs while Willie Pratt had four RBIs, including a three-run home run in the seventh, to help Utah Valley pull away late.
"We were fortunate to get that start from Adam and then have Ryan come in and pitch the way he did. They really controlled the tempo for us," said UVU head coach Eric Madsen. "We came out a little flat and it took us time to get going at the plate, but we got in a groove and the guys did a great job as the game went on."
Rickenbach scored the game's first run in the third on a base hit by Billy Burgess before a three-run fourth gave the Wolverines a 4-0 lead.
In the fourth, a single by Hatch preceded a double by Alex Exon before Pratt's sacrifice bunt scored Hatch and moved Exon to third. Rickenbach later doubled home a run and Sean Moysh drove in Jordy Hart with a sac-fly.
The score remained 4-0 until the seventh when UVU put four more on the board to add on to its lead. Hatch had an RBI single to plate Austin Heaps and both he and Cole Butcher scored on the home run to right by Pratt, his second of the season.
Sebastian Grazziani had two of the five hits for the Bears.
Gunn tossed four innings of one-hit baseball and struck out six while working on a pitch count before Chadwick tossed the final five innings and struck out three.
The series continues on Saturday with a doubleheader slated to begin at 10 a.m. MT. The games can be heard live on WolverineGreen.com.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit http://www.WolverineGreen.com
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company