Splitting hairs in Arizona

Splitting hairs in Arizona

For the third time in as many years, the Wolverines have topped the 2012 national champion Arizona Wildcats.

Utah Valley split a two-game series with Arizona, as it has every season since 2012, dropping game 1, 8-7, in 14 innings before obtaining the victory in 10 innings, 5-2, in the second game.

Senior Andrew Freter continued his superb pitching by surrendering only two runs on seven hits over 8.1 innings in his second start of the year. Freter, an Idaho native, has a 1.29 ERA and opponents are hitting .176 against him through 14 innings pitched.

He wasn’t able to capture the winning decision, though, as an Arizona home run tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth.

Senior outfielder Sean Moysh answered in the Wolverines’ next opportunity at the plate, driving in freshman infielder Zac Fuller with a two-out double to make it 3-2. Fuller was able to get on in front of Moysh by legging out an infield single.

Sophomore outfielder Craig Brinkerhoff then plated Moysh with a single and advanced to second on the throw. Sophomore infielder Spencer Gothberg added an insurance run by knocking in Gothberg to make it 5-2.

Moysh finished the day 2-5 with two doubles and three RBIs.

“We had some guys come up in key situations and Sean was huge for us,” head coach Eric Madsen said. “It was also good to see both Zac Fuller and Spencer Gothberg come off the bench and get big hits for us too.”

Junior Chad Michaud earned the win after relieving Freter in the ninth and closing the door in the tenth.

“I was happy for Andrew with how he pitched, heartbroken that he didn’t get the win there but he was in control most of the way,” Madsen said. “Chad (Michaud) came in and did a great job too. Our pitching has been there for us so far this season.”

The win came on the heels of a disappointing loss to open the series. UVU led Arizona 6-0 through 4 ½ innings in the first game before a Wildcats rally pulled them within two runs and eventually made the score 7-7 after seven innings.

It would remain tied until the bottom of the 14th when a double secured the win for Arizona. The 5-hour 5-minute marathon was the longest contest in UVU Division I history.

Brinkerhoff and Moysh each had two RBIs apiece in the loss. Moysh currently leads the team with six and is tied with junior Kade Andrus and sophomore Beau Kallas with one home run.

The series split moves the Wolverines, who opened the 2014 campaign by losing two of three at Loyola Marymount, to 2-3.

UVU plays 16 road games over the first month of the season and is in Malibu, Calif. Feb. 21-23 for a three-game set with Pepperdine of the West Coast Conference.

Kyle is a junior at UVU, studying journalism. He works at KSL as a writer/content manager and previously wrote for weareutahjazz.com. He is originally from Colorado Springs, Colo., where most of his family resides. In his free time Kyle enjoys hiking, playing the sports he writes about, reading and obsessively following his professional teams, to which he is unwaveringly loyal. You can follow him @kyledspencer.

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