BELLEVUE, Wash. — Utah Valley University baseball dropped its 2012 season opener, 8-2, at Seattle University on Friday afternoon at Bannerwood Stadium.
The Redhawks used 14 hits, scored six times over their final three at-bats and got eight strong innings from Seafth Howe to defeat the Wolverines. Howe gave up just one run on three hits to earn the season-opening win.
“We didn’t do a very good job of hitting with runners in scoring position early on and I thought we started to press as the game went on,” said UVU head coach Eric Madsen. “It’s a little disappointing. I’d like to see us play better on opening day but it’s a long season.”
Bryndon Ecklund singled with two down in the bottom of the first to give Seattle an early 1-0 lead. Then, in the top of the second, Cole McWhorter’s two-out double to left brought home Kai Hatch, tying the score at 1-1.
Seattle opened the bottom of the fourth with four straight hits off of UVU starter Jeremy Gendlek, the reigning Great West Conference Pitcher of the Year. Gendlek escaped the inning with minimal damage though — one run on an RBI single by Brian Olson — and the Redhawks led 2-1 after four.
SU got some late insurance runs — two in the sixth, a single run in the seventh and then a three-run eighth — to give itself some insurance.
The Wolverines final run came in the top of the ninth, when Cole Butcher singled — in his first collegiate at-bat — and scored on a RBI groundout by Hatch.
Five different players accounted for UVU's five hits. Sean Moysh, in his first at-bat as a Wolverine, singled in the first inning. Jake Rickenbach — playing third base for the first time at UVU — was without a hit but reached base via a walk in his first game since returning from an injury that kept him off the field in 2011.
The series is schedule to continue on Saturday at 2 p.m. Friday’s game was moved up five hours to avoid rain, which is expected throughout the weekend and could force a possible change-of-schedule for the rest of the series.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit http://www.WolverineGreen.com.