The Utah Valley Wolverines are streaking! In a good way, at least.
The Wolverines had won three in a row and four of their last five games after Thursday’s win over Southern Utah. In the last three games, they have batted in 40 runs, averaging just over 13 runs a game. In the past five games, they’re still averaging over nine runs a game.
And it all started when they came back home to Brent Brown Ballpark.
The Wolverines started their home stretch against the Sacramento State Hornets, who spoiled their home opener with 13 runs, 11 of them coming in the first three innings before taking the 13-3 victory.
UVU answered right back in the second game with 10 runs of their own, starting their offensive outburst. Jeremy Gendlek started that game and gave up six runs over five innings to hold off the Hornets. The rubber match of the three-game set was all UVU’s Austin Heaps as he hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning and ended the day tying the school record with six RBIs.
Southern Utah University came in with vengeance on their mind, looking to erase from their memory UVU coming into Cedar City and taking all three games. But the Wolverines’ bats were too much for the Thunderbirds to handle. UVU struck for five runs in the second inning, five in the fifth, three in the sixth, and four in the seventh to defeat Southern Utah 17-7.
There were a total of nine homeruns in this game with six of them coming out on UVU’s side of the scoreboard. But even with numbers like that (17 runs, 15 hits, six home runs), Wolverines head coach Eric Madsen still sees room for improvement.
“I still feel like we threw away some at-bats during the middle of that game,” Madsen said. “I thought we should’ve scored 34 [runs]. I think we had a lot more runs in us during that game. They swung the bat good but we’re just striving for the process. It doesn’t matter if we scored three or if we scored 30 as long as they’re staying with the process.”
The coach seems to be on to something. They are stranding on average over seven runners on base a game this season and are only batting a .285 as a team. But for the Coach, it is all about consistency.
“There’s a little better consistency,” Madsen said. “I think we’ve had a good club all year. I think we’re doing a more consistent job at the plate. Obviously I want to see us be perfect all the time but I just feel like our guys are bearing down a little more and trying do things the right way.”
Utah Valley now turns their attention to a team that defeated them earlier in the season, nationally ranked Arizona. Even though the Wolverines were defeated by the then ranked No. 8 Wildcats, there is a clear confidence in the clubhouse because of the lead they took early on in that game.
“Our guys felt like we gave the game away to Arizona,” Madsen said. “We had a good lead on them. We just kind of went away from it. There’s a lot of excitement. That’s a big opportunity for us to really improve in the national scene so our guys are jazzed up for it.”
After facing nationally ranked Arizona, Utah Valley will welcome in North Dakota for a three-game set before hitting the road again.