BELLEVUE, Wash. – Junior right-hander Paxton Schultz struck out seven in eight scoreless innings of work en route to leading Utah Valley to a 4-2 victory over WAC foe Seattle U on Saturday afternoon at Bannerwood Park. The Wolverines will now look to take the opening conference series of the season in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon.
In 8.0 innings of impressive work, Schultz did not allow a run while scattering six hits and fanning seven. He picked up his first win of the season to improve to 1-2 in the process. Schultz faced the minimum of three hitters in three innings and just four batters in four more, as he limited the Redhawk bats all afternoon.
With UVU (4-18, 1-1 WAC) holding to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth, SU (5-16, 1-1 WAC) then rallied to load the bases and drive home two runs to make things interesting. With the bases loaded and just one away, Utah Valley's Jesse Schmit came on and managed to induce a game-ending double play ground ball to earn his second save of the season.
The Wolverines were the first to break a scoreless tie in the fourth, as Ryan Eastburn came home on a wild pitch to make it 1-0. Eastburn had previously singled to lead off the frame.
Still 2-0 in the ninth, the Wolverines then managed to add a pair of what proved to be critical insurance runs to extend their lead to 4-0. Kody Hall started what proved to be the decisive rally with a one-out single and he was then driven home with an RBI double from Michael Beltran. Following an Eastburn walk, Marco then singled home Beltran to make it 4-0.
Following a one-out error and back-to-back singles, the Redhawks then quickly loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth. Pinch-hitter Jake Taylor then promptly plated two runs with a single through the right side to make it 4-2. After a hit batter again loaded the bases, UVU's Schmit managed to escape the jam by inducing a 6-4-3 double play to seal the victory for the Wolverines.Comment on this story
Five Wolverines tallied a hit apiece in the contest and Marco finished with a 1-for-4 outing with a run scored and a run batted in, while Beltran went 1-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Austin Lively led Seattle U with a 3-for-4 performance.
The victory snapped a six-game skid by the Wolverines.
UVU and SU will conclude the opening WAC series with the rubber match on Sunday at 1 p.m. MT at Bannerwood Park. Following the contest, the Wolverines will then return home to host Oregon of the Pac-12 Conference on Wednesday, March 27, before welcoming Grand Canyon to town for a three-game conference series next weekend (March 29-31).