There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! Sort of.
Utah Valley University will be coming back to Utah after an out-of-state road trip, and although they won’t be playing in their own Brent Brown Ballpark, they will be closer to home than they have been since the season started.
The Wolverines will play against the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah University in a three-game set in Cedar City, 215 miles south of Orem.
Since 2007, the Wolverines have posted a 12-8 record against the Thunderbirds. Last season they went 2-4 over six games, allowing a total of 40 runs in that span. They did shut out SUU in the first game they played, winning 5-0 behind Blake Krahenbuhl’s eight-inning, one-hit effort.
Krahenbuhl isn’t the only player that they will be facing as Jeremy Glendlek looks to bounce back from a not-so-stellar start to his season. Glendlek has allowed nine earned runs in 11 total innings pitched. After ending last season with an impressive 1.71 ERA, he has a 7.36 ERA this season.
Jake Rickenbach is looking to have a stellar season himself as he is already bouncing back from an early-season slump. Although he’s only sporting a .241 batting average, he has one of the best slugging percentages on his team with a .448. Rickenbach has always been a player with power and currently is the only one on the team with a home run. In 2010 he launched six over the fence and pushed across 39 runs.
Although SUU has a losing record right now, they are not a team to sleep on. Southern Utah’s pitching has been on top of their game this season, with their top three starters combining for a 1.28 ERA. Kelsey Outram has started both of the games he has appeared in and has only allowed three runs over 16 innings, with nine strikeouts. Since the Thunderbirds are not putting runs across (averaging two runs a game), Outram has two losses on his record.
UVU seems to have the opposite problem. They look to keep their offense alive against Southern Utah as they have five starting fielders batting over .300. As a team however, their pitching staff has an unimpressive 7.07 ERA, allowing 28 runs in the final four innings of the game. Although the Wolverines have put up 41 runs in seven games (averaging 5.9 runs a game), UVU’s pitching staff has allowed 47 runs in that same span.
Utah Valley looks to turn their season around after a tough series with No. 17 Cal State Fullerton. After that it is back to the out-of-state road trip as they travel to Arizona to take on No. 11 Arizona State in a two-game set. Continuing their road trip, they travel to California to face conference rivals St. Mary’s before having their first home series against Sacramento State on March 22.
By Alex Rivera