Wolverines drop close contest in round one of Crosstown Clash
An early four-run lead wasn’t enough cushion for the Utah Valley baseball team in the Crosstown Clash. Brigham Young University used five unanswered runs the rest of the way on Tuesday, March 3 for a 5-4 comeback victory in Provo.
The Wolverines were coming off of a four-game series split at San Jose State, and seemingly having the best momentum of the season thus far. While BYU had dropped 3-of-4 at New Mexico.
Last season when the the Cougars and Wolverines met, it was the Cougars who took both meetings. BYU won 1-5 at home and 14-13 in 10 innings in Orem.
Much like last season at Miller Park, the Wolverines jumped to the early lead. UVU senior first baseman Kade Poulsen broke open the scoring with a two-run single to left center field, scoring freshman center fielder Connor Hall and junior second baseman Mitch Moralez.
Four batters later, sophomore designated hitter Jeff Arens knocked a two-run single up the middle. Poulsen and senior right fielder Alexander Marco scored on the play.
However, the Cougars answered quickly in the bottom of the first, courtesy of their junior left fielder Hayden Leatham. He singled up the middle, scoring freshman second baseman Andrew Pintar.
Just one inning later in the bottom of the second, UVU saw their four-run lead slip away. The Cougars put three runs on the board in the inning highlighted by sophomore first baseman Austin Deming’s two-run single.
The pitching finally settled in for both sides through the next three innings. But, it was in the bottom of the fifth where BYU broke the tie. Freshman third baseman Peyton Cole walked with the bases loaded to bring home the go-ahead run.
In the final innings, the pitching between both sides got very strategic, as BYU ended up using seven pitchers total, while UVU used five throughout. The strategy paid off as the Cougars go-ahead run in the fifth-inning proved to be enough.
UVU junior pitcher Bobby Voortmeyer took the loss, his second of the season. While freshman pitcher Cooper McKeehan got his first career win for the Cougars.
Poulsen, Moralez and Arens each had standout games for UVU. Poulsen went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, Moralez went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Arens had a 1-for-3 game with two RBIs and a walk.
With the loss, UVU drops to 3-10 overall. The Wolverines will now head to the University of Washington for a four-game series on March 6-8 with the Huskies. The first home game for UVU will take place after that on Tuesday, March 10 against Air Force Academy.
Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics