Wolverines come up short against SU in game 2, fall 5-4

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The Utah Valley baseball team failed to go up 2-0 in the series against the Seattle University Redhawks in a 5-4 decision on Friday, April 8. The Wolverines were hitless and down 3-0 to the Redhawks for the first four innings before creeping back throughout the game and taking the lead 4-3 in the eighth. However, the Redhawks would rally in the eighth and stifle the Wolverines to end the game with a final of 5-4. The series is now evened at 1-1 while the Wolverines fall to a record of 11-20 and drop to 4-10 in WAC play. The Wolverines are also now 8-15 on the road.

UVU accumulated a .212 hitting average off four runs, seven hits, four RBIs, and three walks. The Wolverines also struck out seven times and stranded five runners on base. Trey Cutchen had an outstanding day, getting three hits out of four at-bats with a home run, one runner batted in, and three runs scored. Paul Vossen followed with two hits in four at-bats and hitting two RBIs. Two other Wolverines had one hit. 

The Redhawks had a hitting average of .259 off five runs, seven hits, three RBIs, and eight walks. The Redhawks were able to pull off the win despite striking out six times and leaving eight runners on base. Aidan Welch led the way for the Redhawks, going 2-4 with two runs scored. Gavin Rork and Julian Kodama were walked twice each, and five Redhawks tied for one hit. 

Wolverines’ Mitch Moralez had a great at-bat to start against Redhawks’ starting pitcher Peter Chronowski in the top of the first, taking a full-count walk. Trey Cutchen also gave Chronowski a long at-bat but unfortunately popped out to the infield. Moralez would then get caught stealing by the catcher and get out. Mick Madsen followed with a groundout to end the inning for the Wolverines. 

Wolverine starting pitcher Mason Gray had a rough start, walking the Redhawks’ lead-off man Gavin Rork who successfully stole second base a few pitches later. Shane Jamison followed by blasting the ball down the left field line for a double that scored Rork to give SU an early 1-0 lead. Jamison was then able to advance to third after a balk by Gray. However, Gray followed with the retirement of Derek Gellos. After another long at-bat, Matt Boissoneault was walked as well, giving the Redhawks runners on the corners. Gray responded by striking Grant Heiser out with a breaking ball. The Redhawks got another score after a wild pitch by Gray that brought in Jamison to help them go up 2-0 and helped Boissoneault reach second. Fortunately, Gray was able to escape the jam after Julian Kodama popped out in foul territory.

Chronowski remained strong against the Wolverines in the top of the second, retiring Paul Vossen with a groundout, striking out Spencer Olsen, and forcing a flyout to center-field on Brody Ponti.

Aidan Welch gave Gray more trouble, hitting a standup lead-off double to begin the second for the Redhawks. A sacrifice bunt from Kyle Sherick then advanced Welch to third. Gray was unable to answer, walking Dylan Gerard to give SU runners on the corners once again. Things got worse for the Wolverines after a misfired throw by Gray allowed Welch to score and give the Redhawks a 3-0 advantage. Fortunately for UVU, Gerard was caught heading to second, forcing out number two. Rork was once again walked by Gray but later was caught attempting to take second, bringing the inning to a close. 

Chronowski had another great start in the third inning, striking out Kyle Coburn on three pitches. Drew Sims and Kayler Yates followed with flyouts to swiftly end the third for the Wolverines.

Wolverines’ reliever Carson Brown came in forcing a quick groundout up the middle by Jamison. Gellos, after a very long at-bat, was then walked. Brown responded by picking up strikeout number one against Boissoneault. Heiser followed with a two-out base hit through the left side to give the Redhawks their first runner of the inning. Brown was able to escape the jam after Kodama chopped to short which forced the out at first to end the inning. 

After a groundout to second by Moralez to begin the fourth, Cutchen ended the Redhawks’ no-hitter by smashing a home run out to left field to put UVU on the board 3-1. Madsen tried to replicate it, but his hit was caught in the outfield. Vossen clocked the second Wolverines’ hit with a two-out single. Chronowski’s struggles continued as he walked Olsen. However, he was able to end the inning after Ponti hit the ball into a fielder’s choice that ended the inning for the Wolverines. 

Brown continued his momentum into the bottom of the fourth, striking Welch out on a full count. Sherick then launched a single out to right-center field to get the Redhawks on base. However, Gerard would ground out into a double play that retired both him and Sherick, forcing the second straight scoreless inning for Seattle. 

Chronowski silenced the Wolverines once again in the top of the fifth, quickly retiring Coburn and forcing a Sims groundout up the middle and a Yates flyout to close out the inning. 

Brown once again held the Redhawks scoreless in the fifth, striking out Rork, forcing a high flare out by Jamison, and forcing a flyout to the in-field by Gellos. 

Chronowski began the sixth with another routine retirement of Moralez. Cutchen followed with a shot down the right-field line for his second base-hit of the day. Madsen replicated with a single of his own to put runners on the corners for the Wolverines. Vossen then hit a fielder’s choice RBI that retired Madsen but scored Cutchen to cut the Wolverine deficit down 3-2. However, Chronowski cut the inning short after striking out Olsen for the second time. 

Brown started the sixth by hitting Boisseneault with a wild pitch but imposed a deep flyout on Heiser. Brown then walked Kodama which gave Seattle two runners on base. However, Brown was able to strand the runners after retiring Welch and Sherick. 

In the top of the seventh, Chronowski retired the Wolverines quickly once again, striking out Ponti and Coburn while Sims flew out to right field. 

Wolverine reliever Blake Zeleny got off to a shaky start in the seventh after pinch hitter Collin Curry crushed a leadoff single for the Redhawks. Zeleny followed by striking out Rork. Things began to look daunting for Zeleny after he walked Jamison; however, consecutive flyouts by Gellos and Boisseneault allowed Zeleny to escape the inning cleanly. 

The Wolverines had a rough outing to start the eighth inning with Chronowski retiring Yates and Moralez on five pitches. Cutchen answered with another single to right field and his third hit of the game. Chronowski began to show signs of struggle again by walking Madsen and giving up an RBI single to Vossen that scored Cutchen to allow the Wolverines to even the score 3-3 and advance Madsen to second. The play forced the Redhawks’ reliever Gabe Smith to come in for Chronowski and face Olsen. Olsen then slapped a base hit into right field that brought home Madsen and advanced Vossen to third base to give UVU their first lead of the game at 4-3. Cole Jordan ended up coming for Olsen and successfully stole second, putting two Wolverines in scoring position. However, a Ponti groundout to second would end the Wolverines’ inning.

Zeleny began the bottom of the eighth once again forcing a flyout against Heiser. The Redhawks were able to get on base, however, with Kodama taking his second walk. Welch followed by blasting the ball to left-center field that hopped over the wall for a ground-rule double which took Kodama to third. Zeleny bounced back with a Sherick strikeout. However, Redhawks’ pinch hitter Connor O’Brien sliced a single down the left infield line to score both Kodama and Welch for the Redhawks to retake the lead at 5-4. A flyout by Rork would conclude the inning. 

The Wolverines tried to respond but were unable to after Smith finished the game strong for SU, forcing a Coburn groundout, pinch hitter Copper Hansen to fly out, and Brandon Luna to strike out for the conclusion of the game. The Redhawks won with a final score of 5-4. 

The Wolverines will now face the Redhawks in the final game of the series on Saturday, April 9 at 3 p.m. MT in Bellevue, Washington. The game can be streamed on the WAC Digital Network. The Wolverines will conclude their Washington trip on Monday, April 11 against PAC-12 opponent Washington in Seattle, Washington at 7 p.m. MT. This match can be watched via the PAC-12 Washington Live Stream.