OREM Wind gusts close to 20 miles per hour flying straight out to center field guaranteed one thing during the Utah Valley State baseball game against Utah on Saturday: misery for the pitchers.
That's because balls were flying all over the field in the Utes' 17-16 win over UVSC.
With the score changing in every inning, the bottom of the ninth wasn't any different as the Wolverines brought the winning run to the plate with runners on first and third, and no outs. Jace Brinkerhoff, UVSC's leading hitter with a .351 batting average and three home runs on the year, struck out to end the best chance to win.
A run eventually came home from a sacrifice fly. The damage was done, though, and Utah (12-14) recorded three straight outs to end the game.
UVSC (6-19-1) mounted a huge comeback in the eighth with its second six-run rally of the game. A fielding error at third gave the Wolverines their first run, and Austin Croshaw's two-RBI single and Kevin Arendse's RBI single gave them three more. Cole Anderson's two-run shot his first of the year cut the lead to two runs.
Early on, it looked like a Utah romp as it jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead after the second inning. Cooper Blanc did the much of the damage with a two-run homer that went high over the center-field fence 388 feet from home plate.
The Utes' early momentum was short lived as UVSC put six runs on the board in its turn of the third to get within one.
Five straight Wolverine batters got on base as part of their effort in scoring the first four runs. Jake Rickenbach had the encore in the inning with a two-RBI double to right center.
Not content with a one-run lead, Utah came right back in the top of the fourth with three runs.
A surge of power by Utah in the fifth put it in the driver's seat again with three more runs to go up 13-7. Blanc hit his second two-run homer of the game. Dustin Hennis hit a shot over the wall earlier in the inning.
Adding two in the sixth didn't seem to help the Wolverines much then, especially since Utah scored four in the seventh to go up 17-9.