Baseball: Big inning pushes UVU past UIW, Wolverines take series

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Photo by Mykah Heaton

OREM — An eight-run fourth inning propelled UVU to hold off a comeback and beat the University of Incarnate Word 11-8 Saturday afternoon at Brent Brown Ballpark. The victory handed the Wolverines the series victory.

Relief pitcher Margo Briones picked up the win in the contest, pitching 3 2/3 innings while surrendering two hits and no walks. First baseman Trevor Peterson crushed a home run to left-center field to add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. The run gave UVU an added level of comfort in the ninth inning when Lee Thomas smacked a two-run opposite field home run to bring the score within three runs.

Logan Hold, who came in to pitch the ninth inning, walked a batter and allowed a base hit to bring the tying run to the plate with two outs. Closer Patrick Wolfe was brought in to what became a save opportunity and got a ground ball to earn his seventh save of the season.

“The guy at the plate had a chance to leave the yard and he’s one of their better hitters,” head coach Eric Madsen said. “Pat’s our closer. It was time for him to go in.”

The bottom of the fourth inning blew the game open for UVU as it scored eight runs. The melee started with a single up the middle from Callahan Moltzan. Then Kade Poulsen and Jake Atkinson added singles of their own. A pitching change was made but the fresh arm out of the bullpen could not save two wild pitches and a balk that cleared the bases and gave the Wolverines a 5-1 lead.

Second baseman David Modler walked, Peterson was hit and Trevor Howell singled to set the table and continue the inning. DH Zac Willis singled to score one and Jackson Overlund ripped his second double down the left-field line to score two more. Jake Berry flied out to left field but a wild throw home allowed Overlund and Willis to tag up and score on the play making the score 10-1 Wolverines.

The Cardinals countered with a rally of their own in the top of the fifth inning. A series of seven singles that plated five runs before the dust settled. Kaden Schmitt, UVU’s starter, exited the game after the fifth run crossed home plate and would be charged with six earned runs in the outing. The inning came to a close when UIW center fielder Mark Whitehead struck out looking on a questionable call. Whitehead had to be restrained by teammates as the inning ended while arguing the called strike three.

“You have to give credit to them,” said Madsen. “They found a way to get some hits and do some things.”

The Wolverines jumped out to an early two-run lead in the first inning when Overlund drove in two runs with a soaring double to the wall in left-center field. UIW got a run back in the second inning on a pair of doubles from Thomas and Garrett Terrell.

In a game in which UVU was out-hit 16-12 by the Cardinals, every Wolverine starter recorded at least one base hit.

UVU will remain at home next week for a Tuesday matchup with crosstown rival BYU before heading on the road for a three-game series with conference opponent CSU Bakersfield. First pitch Tuesday is set for 6 p.m. MDT.