Wolverines fall on the road to USF 7-1

Connor Hall hits the first HR of the season for the Wolverines (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics).

Connor Hall hit his first home run of the season, but it wasn’t enough as the Utah Valley baseball team fell to the San Francisco Dons 7-1 Friday, Feb. 25 at the Benedetti Diamond in San Francisco.

Starter Devin Smith went five innings for UVU, allowing six runs on six hits, in addition to walking three and striking out three. The right-hander out of Lehi falls to 0-1 on the season after picking up a no-decision last week against Texas State.

Owen Stevenson was nearly untouchable for the Dons, going six innings and allowing just the one run on three hits. The Wolverines were able to muster up just four hits on the day.

UVU put pressure on early in the top of the first but were unable to capitalize on the scoring chance. The Wolverines got two runners into scoring position after Brody Ponti reached on an error and Paul Vossen got a one-out single, but Stevenson was able to work out of the jam.

USF put up a two-spot in both the third and fourth innings, using a little bit of small ball in the process. The Dons recorded just one hit with runners in scoring position over the two rallies, scoring on a pair of groundouts in the third then scoring off of a double and a double steal in the fourth. 

The Wolverines got one back in the top of the fifth when Hall hit a two-out solo shot to dead center to cut into the USF advantage. The Dons responded with a two-run homer off the bat of Jordan Vujovich to take a 6-1 lead. 

UVU’s bullpen did a decent job in relief of Smith, with Houston transfer Josh Brown pitching a scoreless sixth and Hunter Tueller allowing one run over his two innings of work in his first collegiate appearance.

While the Wolverines’ offense isn’t getting the results Coach Eddie Smith is looking for, they’re starting to put the ball in play more. Over the first four games at Texas State last weekend, UVU batters struck out 38 times, including 17 times on opening day last Friday. In the series opener against the Dons, the Wolverines struck out just five times, their lowest mark of the season thus far. 

UVU baseball will continue its series with the Dons Saturday, Feb. 26, with a doubleheader. The first pitch of game one is scheduled for 11:30 MDT, and game two is scheduled for 3 p.m. MDT. Both games will be streamed on the WCC Network. 

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