The University of Utah baseball team got off to quick start as it built a three-run lead after two innings, but it hit a lull and had to rally in the eighth inning for the 7-6 win over Southern Utah on Tuesday.
Utah (22-24 overall) had five hits in the first two frames, and it built a 4-1 lead in that time. But, SUU held Utah hitless for five innings and the Thunderbirds captured the 6-4 lead. The see-saw teetered Utah's way in the eighth as the Utes scored three runs, the game-winner courtesy of a bases-loaded balk, to capture the come-from-behind win.
"I'm proud of the way the guys came back to get the win today," said Utah coach Bill Kinneberg. "I don't think we played well in some areas, but we battled and got the win. That's all that matters. Now, we're ready to move on to the next series this week."
The Utes wrap up the regular season at home with a three-game series against BYU at Franklin Covey Field. Utah needs three victories in order to win the first-ever Deseret First Duel trophy. First pitch on Thursday and Friday is at 6 p.m. Saturday's game will start at 1 p.m.
OREGON STATE 8, UTAH VALLEY 4: At Corvallis, Ore., Scott Croshaw and Jace Brinkerhoff had three hits apiece but it wasn't enough as Utah Valley fell short at two-time defending champion Oregon State.
Croshaw drove in three runs and Jory Jensen threw four innings out of the bullpen and didn't allow an earned run on just two hits for the Wolverines, who dropped to 15-35-1.
The Beavers (25-20) got six shutout innings from Blake Keitzman in relief to earn the two-game series split after Utah Valley won the opener, 11-6, on Monday night. Keitzman struck out nine and retired 15 of the first 16 batters he faced and moved to 2-3 on the year.