After losing the first game of a double-header to San Diego State 7-6 on Tuesday, the University of Utah baseball team came back to capture a 7-5 win in the nightcap to earn a split in the first two games of a four-game series this week.
Utah began the day scoring five runs in the first inning of the first game, but was held scoreless the rest of the way as the Aztecs fought back to improve their Western Athletic Conference record to 8-1 with the one-run victory.In the second game, Utah knocked out San Diego State's Rick Navarro in the second inning scoring three earned runs in the first and two more in the second. Navarro was the WAC earned run leader entering the game, with a 1.13 ERA. Senior second baseman Shaun Peters highlighted the scoring in the first as he hit a triple knocking in two runs. Sophomore shortstop Robert Castellano added a solo home run in the second, his second of the year.
But the Aztecs once again fought their way back into the game. San Diego State had men on first and second with one out when center fielder Derek Vinyard stroked a single to left field.
Aztec shortstop Steve Dietz attempted to score from second but Ute left fielder Brett Alvey made a perfect throw and freshman catcher Adam Sessions blocked the plate and tagged Dietz out at the plate for the second out. Aztec right fielder Bill Dunckel then singled to load the bases. But Utah reliever Bret Cornell got the Aztec designated hitter Brad Gennaro to pop out and the Utes came away with the win against the second-place team in the WAC.
The two teams resume the series Wednesday in a double-header beginning at noon at Derks Field.