Utah Valley University outslugged in-state rival Utah, 12-8, in front of a season-high 1,543 fans on a cold, windy Tuesday night at Brent Ballpark. Hitless until the fourth, the Wolverines (16-22) finished the night with 13 hits, getting two hits apiece from five different players.
Craig Brinkerhoff hit a go-ahead two-run home run, his fifth on the season, in a four-run fourth and finished with three RBIs. Zach Slesk had two hits and two runs batted in while Jordy Hart, Mark Krueger and Greyson Bogden were the other UVU players to collect a pair of hits. The Utes (12-24) finished with 12 hits, led by Cody Scaggari’s 4-for-5 evening.
“It was a tough night for both teams,” UVU head coach Eric Madsen said about playing in the conditions. “You know as a pitcher in a game like this you’re going to give up runs. I felt like our hitters did a good job of competing at the plate and we had some good fortune, which we haven’t had a lot of.”
The teams combined for eight errors in the game, with Utah committing five that led in part to five of the 12 UVU runs coming in unearned.
Utah pushed two runs across the plate in the first. TJ Bennett drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Wyler Smith had a two-out RBI single.
The score remained 2-0 Utes until the fourth, when UVU scored four times after there were two outs. Riley White tripled off the wall in right-center to score Sean Moysh for the Wolverines’ first hit and first run of the game.
Brinkerhoff followed with the home run to right, putting UVU in front, 3-2. The fourth run scored when Bogden, who reached on an infield single and moved to second on a passed ball, came in on a base hit by Slesk.
Utah got within a run in the fifth and took a 5-4 lead with two in the sixth. The Wolverines responded with three in the bottom half of the inning. Brinkerhoff tied it with an RBI single and scored the go-ahead run when Slesk drove him in on a base hit to right.
White and Moysh also drove in a pair of runs for UVU. White had a sacrifice fly on a dropped fly ball in the seventh and Moysh poked a double past first in the eighth during a three-run inning that gave Utah Valley extra insurance runs.
Kyle Valgardson (1-1) was credited with the win after pitching a 1-2-3 seventh inning while Bret Helton (2-4) took the loss for Utah. The win for Utah Valley earned a split of the season series and ended a four-game losing streak to the Utes.
The Wolverines next host Northern Colorado in a three-game Western Athletic Conference series beginning Friday at 6 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.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company