OREM, Utah — Utah Valley scored all eight of its runs in the first four innings to take the opener of a four-game Great West series over Chicago State, 8-3, on Friday night at Brent Brown Ballpark.
"I was pleased with how we played early on. We accomplished a lot of what we talked about this week in those first four innings and also got another good outing from our pitching staff," head coach Eric Madsen said. "Later on we made some mistakes and I thought lost some of the intensity. It's important for us to compete every day and be committed to what we're trying to do, which is trying to win the conference."
The Wolverines (15-21, 6-3) had four triples in scoring in each of their first four times at bat and building an 8-2 lead. In the first, Riley White and Kade Andrus hit back-to-back triples before Kai Hatch’s sacrifice fly gave UVU a 2-0 lead.
Utah Valley tacked on two more runs in the second, the first on Beau Kallas’ first home run of the year over the wall in left center. Stone Ramsey followed Kallas with the Wolverines’ third triple and then scored the fourth run on a groundout off the bat of White.
Chicago State (6-27, 3-10) got a two-out, two-run single from Aveeno Nasiloski in the top of the third to get on the board.
Hatch led off the bottom of the third with a walk and then scored on a triple from Colby Croft. Mark Krueger, who drove in a pair of runs, singled home Croft and later scored on a sac fly by Ramsey, pushing the UVU lead to 7-2.
The Wolverines’ eighth run came in on Krueger’s second RBI, scoring Hatch.
Adam Gunn (5-4) pitched six innings and struck out five to get the win. He allowed three runs on six hits. Kyle Valgardson followed Gunn and finished off the game to pick up a three-inning save, his first of the year. Valgardson struck out a pair in his three shutout frames.
Dylan Sterrett (1-8) took the loss for the Cougars, who were led at the plate by William Munoz with two hits and an RBI.
The series continues Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.