OREM, Utah — Utah Valley University put together a pair of big innings on its way to a runaway win, 20-4, over North Dakota on Friday at Brent Brown Ballpark.
Goose Kallunki hit a grand slam and had five RBIs as the Wolverines (15-11) won their eighth straight game and moved to 2-0 in Great West Conference play.
Chris Kerns earned his first win as a Wolverine after throwing four scoreless innings in relief. Kerns struck out the last five hitters he faced, including the side in the seventh, as the game ended in seven due to the 10-run rule.
“We stuck to the game plan and did a good job of controlling the momentum and taking advantage of the opportunities we were given,” said head coach Eric Madsen. “Chris came in a pitched a shutdown inning after we scored the nine runs, and after we had the seven-run inning he didn’t let up at all.”
The Wolverines scored in the first after a hit batter and two walks set up a sacrifice fly from Austin Heaps.
North Dakota put four on the board in the third to take a 4-1 lead. Jeff Campell hit a three-run home run in the inning to put the Fighting Sioux in front.
The lead was short-lived, though, as UVU scored nine runs in the third and seven more in the fourth to take control of the game.
In the third, three UND errors contributed in large part to the big inning. The first four runs that scored all came in on defensive miscues before Jake Rickenbach and Billy Burgess both doubled home two runs later in the inning.
In the fourth, Kallunki’s grand slam — his third home run in the last four games — gave Utah Valley a 17-4 lead as part of the seven-run frame. Willie Pratt also had an RBI double in the inning and Billy Burgess an RBI single.
Utah Valley finished with a rare line score, getting 20 runs on 11 hits. The three-error third contributed, as did 11 walks and two hit batters by the Fighting Sioux pitching staff.
Sean Moysh, Burgess, Heaps and Kallunki each had two-hit days, with Moysh and Burgess both scoring four runs each. Burgess and Rickenbach both drove in three runs for UVU.
The series will conclude on Saturday with a doubleheader schedule for 1 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