TUCSON, Ariz. — Utah Valley University’s early bid to upset No. 8 Arizona was spoiled with a big sixth inning as the Wolverines fell 12-6 on Tuesday night at Hi Corbett Field.
UVU (1-3) took a 5-1 lead after three and a half innings but a six-run sixth doomed the visiting Wolverines.
Goose Kallunki, who was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, singled with two outs in the first to drive home a pair of runs and Kai Hatch continued the rally with a double to plate Kallunki. The Wolverines jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the top half of the inning.
In the bottom of the second, UVU starter Adam Gunn struck out a rare four hitters. The second hitter of the inning, Brandon Dixon, swung at a pitch in the dirt but reached on an error and later scored the first Arizona run of the game.
The Wolverines got another run when Hatch delivered another RBI single, scoring Austin Heaps to make it 4-1. UVU extended it to 5-1 with a two-out rally in the fourth. Jake Rickenbach had one of his three hits, a single to center, before scoring on a Sean Moysh double.
From there though it was all Wildcats. Arizona got one in the fourth and two more in the bottom of the fifth to make it 5-4 before the decisive sixth. Arizona sent nine hitters to the plate, and took advantage of three walks and two hit batters needing just two hits to score the six runs in the frame.
Alex Exon’s pinch-hit triple to right plated Kallunki in the eighth for UVU’s sixth and final run of the night before the Wildcats tacked on two more in the bottom of the inning.
Gunn lasted four-plus innings and struck out six, allowing three earned runs (four total) on six hits and did not factor into the decision.
Joey Rickard had four hits to lead Arizona and also got three RBIs from Seth Mejias-Brean. Lucas Long got the win after throwing 5.0 innings in relief and allowing two runs while striking out six. Justin Campbell took the loss for Utah Valley.
Both teams finished with 12 hits on the night.
The Wolverines now play a three-game series at Nevada starting Friday at 3 p.m. in Reno, Nev. The teams are also scheduled to play Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
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.