Baseball: Erlandson extends streak despite lopsided loss to BYU

Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics

OREM, Utah—The UVU baseball team fell to the BYU Cougars in blowout fashion by a final of 17-6 in the final game of a three-game season series Tuesday night at Brent Brown Ballpark. The Cougars powered their way to a series win over the Wolverines with four home runs, including a three-run blast to right in the first inning by Eric Urry. Justin Erlandson was the lone bright spot for UVU with a 3-for-4 night, which extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

“Justin has worked as hard as anybody I’ve been around in coaching, which is a long time,” said UVU coach Eric Madsen. “To see his success, I’m really happy for him, because I don’t know how many hits he had over the weekend, but that guy’s struck it on the barrel more than anybody over the weekend so he’s going really good.”

After a fly out to right to end the second inning in his first plate appearance, Erlandson settled into a rhythm and reached on his next three at bats. With UVU trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Erlandson sparked a small rally with a one-out single down the line in right field, then took advantage of Keaton Kringlen’s struggle to field the ball and advanced to second. Jordan Schlehuber grounded to shortstop on the next pitch and Erlandson displayed his speed once again as he beat the short throw to the bag and put UVU in a situation with one out and runners on the corners. Trevor Howell then singled through the right side of the infield and Erlandson scored to put the Wolverines on the board 5-1.

In his final plate appearance of the night in the bottom of the eighth, Erlandson displayed his power and shot a two-out triple into the gap in right center. Pinch hitter Paul Estrada then sent a single through the left side of the infield to score Erlandson, but the Cougars had the game well under wraps with a 15-5 lead.

Photo by David Roura
Photo by David Roura

“My approach has been a lot simplified and I’ve been working with Madsen a lot and putting a lot of extra work in just on my own time,” said Erlandson. “Like showing up 11, 12 o’clock at night, just when I have extra time, just coming to hit.”

Despite the lopsided result at home, Erlandson seems to have BYU’s number. When the two teams met Tuesday, May 3, at Larry H. Miller field in Provo, Erlandson was the Wolverine who dealt the critical blows late in the game with a game-tying run on a fielder’s choice in the ninth and a go-ahead, solo home run to left in the top of the 11th inning. UVU won the contest by a final of 7-6.

“Their pitchers are pretty consistent and they’re going to go soft away, soft away, hard in every once in a while on some guys, and they just try to get you to chase out of the zone. So my approach just works perfectly for that type of pitching, just trying to see that ball up and just go get it, be aggressive,” said Erlandson

UVU looks to rebound from the loss with their final home series of the season against the UTRGV Vaqueros. The three-game set begins Friday at 6 p.m. MT at Brent Brown Ballpark.

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