Utes battle weather, end with 1-2 record

S-Baseball Colby Patterson

The tarps came out this weekend when the forecast decided not to cooperate, as Utah had to wait for the bad weather to pass by just so it could play a game.

The Utes encountered two suspended games because of poor weather at Page Stadium, ending the weekend with a 1-2 record.

The first game on Saturday was a battle between evenly matched teams as Utah was able to come away with a 7-6 victory against Loyola Marymount. The Utes had a hot start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning when seniors Tyler Yagi and T.J. Bennett got on base fast and set the tone for the rest of the team.

The Lions stormed back as they gathered three runs in the fifth inning and two more in the seventh inning to take the lead, 5-3. However, it wasn’t enough to hold off the Utes who rallied with a huge eighth inning, scoring four runs which ultimately decided the game.

Bennett went 3-for-5 with an RBI and scoring a run himself, while Yagi and senior infielder Cory Hunt both had two hits. Sophomore outfielder Wyler Smith contributed two RBIs while scoring a run. On the defensive side, pitcher Mitch Watrous, who pitched six innings and had six strikeouts, picked up his second win of the season to improve his record to 2-0.

Game two was where the weather started to affect play. The game was postponed in the second inning with the Utes trailing 1-0. When play picked back up on Sunday, Utah was not able to garner any runs, dropping the game by a score of 2-0. Sophomore Bret Helton, who came in to relieve starting pitcher Tanner Banks after a rough start on the mound, pitched six-two-thirds innings, striking out four batters in the process.

“Our pitching and defense is good — Bret Helton pitched very well today,” said head coach Bill Kinneberg.

Utah had trouble making contact with the ball while batting, though, only gathering four hits in the game. No Ute had more than one hit in the game.

“We didn’t swing the bats when it counted,” Kinneberg said.

Game three saw much of the same as Utah failed to score many runs, losing the game 4-1. After taking an early 1-0 lead off of a Kody Davis’ double, the Lions tied things up with a home run and never looked back from there. In the fourth inning, LMU started to pull away, due in part to a batter being hit by a pitch, followed shortly after by a double, giving the Lions the lead for good. LMU scored an insurance run in the sixth inning, but already had the game in hand.

Something the Utes were hoping to improve this weekend was leaving runners on base, but they struggled with it yet again in this game. This led to the lack of runs and ultimately, the loss for Utah.

Davis and Helton both went 2-for-3 batting, while Davis scored the lone run. Freshman outfielder Max Schuman, Smith and Bennett all contributed with a hit of their own.

“We just didn’t get runs across the board,” Kinneberg said.

Sophomore pitcher Dalton Carroll had a good day on the mound, pitching six innings and recording five strike outs while only allowing six runs.

With the losses this weekend, the Utes’ record now falls to 5-5 for the season.

“One run in 16 innings probably isn’t going to win very many games,” Kinneberg said. “We just have to score runs, and we didn’t do that today.”

Utah will next compete when it travels down south to take on BYU Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. for a mid-week game.

i.smith@chronicle.utah.edu