PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Utah Valley University opened the 2013 season with a 6-2 victory over Gonzaga on Friday at the Palm Springs Invitational before dropping a 5-2 decision to host and sixth-ranked Oregon State in game two.
"I thought we took advantage of what Gonzaga gave us and really limited their chances to hurt us," coach Eric Madsen said. "The game against Oregon State was just the opposite. We couldn't capitalize when we had opportunities and we gave them too many chances to do damage."
Riley White, who went 2-for-3 against the Bulldogs, drew a bases-loaded walk in the first to get UVU on the board. The Wolverines then led 2-0 after a two-out error in the third allowed Willie Pratt to score.
Pratt delivered a two-run single that plated Beau Kallas and Jordy Hart in the fourth and then scored again on another two-out error to make it 5-0 Utah Valley.
The Wolverines took advantage of nine walks issued by the Gonzaga pitching staff and scored runs on both errors by the Bulldog defense.
Gonzaga threatened to get back into the game with the bases loaded and nobody out in the eighth. Barto got Cory Lebrun to fly out to shallow right for the first out. Jordy Hart then kept a run off the board when Billy Moon flew out to center and Hart cut down Clayton Eslick trying to score at home for the double play, ending the inning.
Kallas’ first career hit drove home White in the ninth to give Utah Valley a 6-1 lead before Gonzaga added a run in the bottom of the ninth.
Devin Nelson threw 4.1 innings and allowed just one unearned run on four hits while striking out four. Jeff Barto also tossed 4.1 innings and allowed one run – in the ninth – to pick up the win. Ryan Evans made his debut in the ninth and retired the final hitter of the game.
Two other first-time Wolverines, Colby Croft and Mark Krueger, also had hits in their first game; Croft doubled in the fifth and Krueger singled in the eighth.
Against Oregon State, UVU again got a run in the top of the first when Kai Hatch singled down the first-base line to score Sean Moysh. Hart’s two-out single in the second scored White to give the Wolverines a 2-0 lead.
The Beavers scored three times in the third, getting two out of a two-out base hit by catcher Jake Rodriguez. Michael Conforto doubled home Tyler Smith for the first run.
OSU got two more runs in the fifth to complete the scoring; an RBI groundout by Joey Matthews and a bunt single by Andy Peterson to bring in both runs.
Oregon State got five-plus innings from Dan Child and a combined four innings out of Tony Bryant and Max Engelbrekt. Child got the win while Engelbrekt earned the save in his first collegiate appearance. Adam Gunn took the loss for UVU.
Ty Hansen made his first appearance since the 2011 season and allowed one earned run (two total) in 2.1 innings including an escape of a bases-loaded and nobody out jam in the fourth. Justin Campbell followed him with 2.2 scoreless innings.
The Wolverines continue the invitational on Saturday against UC Riverside at 5:30 p.m. MT/4:30 p.m. PT.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.