Baseball: Late rally gives UVU victory in home opener

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Photo by Brigham Berthold

OREM — A big eighth inning helped UVU beat Indiana State University 7-6 at Brent Brown Ballpark Friday night.

A single, double and a triple guided UVU (2-6) to a three-run eighth inning to put the Wolverines ahead of the Sycamores (3-5) and win the game.

“I was proud of our guys to get out there and find a way to win a game,” head coach Eric Madsen said.

Wolverine pitcher Jackson Cofer left the game after five innings and surrendering four runs, three of them earned. He was replaced by Logan Hold who pitched two scoreless innings. Will Kincanon, ISU’s junior pitcher, gave up just three hits but was tagged for four runs through six and 2/3 innings. Neither starting pitcher received a decision in the game.

“Cofer pitched pretty well I thought,” Madsen said. “He didn’t have his greatest stuff, he was kind of missing in the zone a little bit. The unfortunate thing is he didn’t get a win out of that and I thought he pitched well enough to get a win.”

The Sycamores’ Kyle Moore laced a double into left-center field in the third inning and advanced to third base on a single from Tyler Friis. Dominic Bifano then hit a sacrifice fly and Moore scored, to put Indiana State up 1-0.

In the fourth inning Cody Gardner walked, Tony Rosselli singled then Clay Dungan grounded out, moving both runners into scoring position. Moore hit an infield single and two more runs scored.

Trevor Howell broke up a perfect four innings from Kincanon with a double to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. Zac Willis walked and Jackson Overlund was hit on the back to load the bases with one out. Kincanon threw a wild pitch to allow Howell to score and Jake Berry grounded out sending Willis to the plate, making the score 3-2 ISU after four innings.

Berry walked to lead off the seventh inning and scored on an infield hit from Callahan Moltzan. Paul Estrada doubled to left-center field and Moltzan scored to tie the ball game at four runs a piece.

In the eighth inning, Rosselli tripled off the base of the wall in the deep part of the yard in left-center. Moore flied out to right field and Rosselli tagged up to put the Sycamores back up by one run.

Later, in the bottom half of the inning the bats came alive for the Wolverines. Trevor Peterson singled and advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw. He was awarded home plate when Overlund fouled out and the fielder fell into the dugout. Jake Berry then walked and scored on a go-ahead double by Nick Simmons. Jake Atkinson tripled next and Simmons scored to give UVU a two-run lead going into the ninth inning.

“We had some big at bats,” Madsen said. “That at bat that Nick Simmons had there in the eighth inning was giant. He really fought off some good pitches and was getting after it.”

Despite a scary ninth inning for the Wolverines’ closer Patrick Wolfe in which the go-ahead run was on second base in scoring position, UVU held on to win 7-6.

UVU will play a double header Saturday to try and beat the inclement weather expected Monday. The first game is slated to begin at 12 p.m. MST. Jake Mayer will get the nod on the mound for the Wolverines and Jeremy McKinney for the Sycamores.