Beau Kallas homered, but it was all the Wolverines could muster offensively, falling 2-1 at Loyola Marymount on Friday night in the season opener. Kallas’ home run came with two outs in the seventh and is the first opening-day home run for UVU since Feb. 9, 2006, when Adam Openshaw did it against Southern Utah.
Both teams got strong starts from their respective pitchers. The Wolverines’ Andrew Freter pitched 5.2 innings and suffered a tough-luck loss, allowing just two hits with both runs coming in against him unearned. He allowed just two hits while striking out three in his appearance.
Colin Welmon, an All-West Coast Conference pitcher last season, lasted seven innings for the Lions and allowed five hits while striking out five.
Utah Valley out-hit LMU, 6-2, on the night, but it was a two-run second inning that provided the Lions the scoring they would need. Loyola Marymount took advantage of an error to plate two unearned runs in the frame. Tyler Cohen drove home the first run with a double and later scored on an RBI groundout off the bat of Jimmy Jack.
Welmon retired the first 11 Wolverine hitters before Craig Brinkerhoff collected his first Division I base hit in the top of the fourth. Mark Krueger followed him with a double to right, but both runners were stranded.
Utah Valley threatened in the sixth — Sean Moysh and Riley White were both in scoring position with no outs — but did not score. Moysh, who returns in 2014 after missing all but three games in 2013 due to injury, singled to left to start the inning. White then reached on a sacrifice bunt after an errant throw, but Welmon got Brinkerhoff and Krueger swinging and Kade Andrus on a grounder to short to end the inning.
The Wolverines threatened in the ninth with Krueger leading off with a base hit to right. Jordy Hart pinch ran for Krueger, stole second and later moved to third on a ground ball to first from Greyson Bogden for out number two.
Cohen, a freshman who also had the RBI double, got Colby Croft to ground out to third to end the game and earn a save in his first appearance. Cohen entered in the ninth with Hart at first and nobody out.
Utah Valley got a spotless outing from freshman Nate Slyvester in his first appearance. Sylvester retired all seven batters he faced in 2.1 innings of work.
The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. MT, with sophomore Danny Beddes getting the nod on the mound for 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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