Photo by Mykah Heaton
OREM — Jake Mayer baffled hitters in a complete-game performance and UVU beat the University of Incarnate Word Friday evening at Brent Brown Ballpark 5-0.
Mayer got the start for UVU (10-19) and mowed through Cardinals hitters, going the distance in impressive fashion, allowing just four baserunners. He used pinpoint control to execute the three-hit shutout, issuing one walk while striking out seven batters. It was the first shutout thrown by a Wolverine pitcher since Danny Beddes held Sacramento State without a run in April of 2014 in Sacramento.
“I was real pleased in the way he got after it. You could tell that was a guy that was really trying to win,” head coach Eric Madsen said. “He made pitches when he needed to. He fell behind but found a way to get back.”
Just one baserunner was allowed the first time through the lineup and the first hit of the ballgame for the Cardinals (15-17) didn’t come until the fourth inning. Mayer was able to evade jams throughout the game, striking out the side to end the minor threat in the fourth frame. He allowed another single in the sixth inning to second baseman Sam Gutierrez but got a ground ball for a 4-6-3 double play and stuck out the next batter to get through the inning without incident.
Jake Berry hooked a ball down the left field line in the bottom half of the second inning that stayed fair long enough to curve around the foul pole for a home run. Kade Poulsen was hit on the head two batters later and came around to score on a double off the left field wall hit by second baseman David Modler, starting just his sixth game of the season.
“The thing about David is he really wants to be on the field and he wants to play and win,” Madsen said. “He’s finding a way to give us a spark and play hard and do some good things.”
In the third inning center fielder Jackson Overlund scored when Jake Berry drove the ball into left-center field for a base hit and the Wolverines led 3-0 after three innings.
Overlund recorded his second single of the day in the sixth inning and came home on a base hit to right field struck by right fielder Callahan Moltzan to give the Wolverines their fourth run. UVU added another insurance run in the eighth inning to make the score 5-0.
The Wolverines played a clean game with no errors, robbing the Cardinals several times of base hits with stellar defensive plays. Overlund made a diving catch in center field in the fifth inning to deprive UIW first baseman Lee Thomas of a hit.
“There’s nothing better than knowing your defense came to play for you today,” Mayer said. “You see a bunch of diving catches out there like Jackson…. When you know there’s that kind of defense you can just put the ball wherever you want it.”
UVU will play the rubber match of the series Saturday with first pitch moved up to 1 p.m. MDT in hopes of missing the rain due in the morning and late afternoon.
Ty Bianucci is a life-long fan of the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Golden State Warriors who started on the sports beat for The Review, but now contributes investigative stories. He, along with two of his colleagues, were awarded the Sunshine Award in 2018 by the Society of Professional Journalists.