Wolverines open Sunday doubleheader with 5-0 shutout win over UC Riverside
Reading Time: 3 minutes The Wolverines picked up their first shutout of the young season in a 5-0 victory over the UC Riverside Highlanders in game one of a doubleheader on Sunday. The Wolverines also now lead this weekend’s series 2-1.
The Utah Valley University men’s baseball team (4-3) took game one of Sunday’s doubleheader against the University of California – Riverside Highlanders (2-4) with a 5-0 victory at the Riverside Sports Complex in Riverside, California.
With a dominant performance by the Wolverines’ pitching staff, the Wolverines scored immediately to start the game with a two-run home run by Patrick Mills to open the first inning to help UVU go up 2-0 early.
UVU would add two more runs in the sixth inning and then another run in the eighth with a home run by Nate Bach to go up 5-0 and seal the victory for the Wolverines.
The Wolverines batted at a .212 hitting percentage, hitting seven times, five runs batted in, and then getting three batters walked despite striking out 12 times.
Mills led the way for UVU, going 2-4 from the plate, including his two RBI home run hit, and running home twice for the Wolverines. Bach added another home run in the eighth inning. Calyn Halvorson had one hit and walked twice while scoring two runs for the Wolverines. Burke Camper added another hit along with an RBI as well.
Wolverines’ starting pitcher Mitch Mueller (1-1) picked up the win for the Wolverines, pitching six innings. In his six shutout innings, Mueller forced nine strikeouts, four flyouts, and four groundouts.
Reece Rodabaugh pitched the next two innings, allowing only two hits and giving up one walk while forcing five groundouts en route to keeping the shutout alive for the Wolverines.
Nick Sims was the caboose for the Wolverines, pitching one strikeout and forcing a groundout and flyout through three at-bats in the concluding inning.
Halvorson got the first inning started for the Wolverines by getting walked by Highlanders’ pitcher Corbin Barker with only one out. Mills followed with a towering two-run home run blast out to right field to score Halvorson and himself to put UVU up 2-0 early. However, Barker quickly concluded the inning with two consecutive innings.
UC Riverside tried to respond immediately in the bottom frame, getting two runners in scoring position with no outs, but Mueller answered with a strikeout and then forced a double play to escape the jam.
The next several innings would go scoreless before the Wolverines capitalized on a pitching change by the Highlanders. As Cruz Barrios came in relief for Barker to start the top of the sixth inning, Halvorson and Mills each singled to reach second and first base, respectively.
A few at-bats later, Brandon Luna made a hit that forced a fielding error, allowing Halvoron to run home and give the Wolverines a 3-0 lead, Mills to reach third, and himself to reach first. Camper then entered the game as a pinch hitter and slammed a grounder through the left side to score Mills and extend the lead out to 4-0.
Barrios was able to escape the jam a few plays later but the Wolverines weren’t finished haunting him yet as Bach hammered UVU’s second home run of the game in the eighth inning to put the Wolverines up 5-0.
UC Riverside was able to threaten to score in the eighth inning, getting runners on the corners of the diamond with two outs. However, Rodabaugh stifled the potential rally by forcing a groundout to get out of trouble
The Wolverines then held off the Highlanders for the rest of the game to run away with a 5-0 shutout, which was their first shutout of the season.
UVU now has a 2-1 series lead in the four-game series between the two teams this weekend.
The Wolverines take on the Highlanders in the final game of the series at 4 p.m. MT at the River Sports Complex before returning to Orem, Utah to take on the Brigham Young University Cougars (2-6) at the UCCU Ballpark in another rendition of the UCCU Crosstown Clash.
The game against BYU can be streamed on the WAC Digital Network.