Photo by David Roura
MESA, Ariz.—The UVU baseball team took down the defending WAC Tournament champion CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners in the opening round by a final score of 6-4 behind 7.2 innings of strong work from starter Danny Beddes. The Wolverines jumped all over the ‘Runners’ pitching with 10 total hits on the day, including a solo home run to left field by Craig Brinkerhoff in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Dustin Frailey led off the game for Bakersfield with a walk on a full count, then a stolen base and a pair of ground outs to the middle infield brought him around to score and gave the ‘Runners an early 1-0 lead.
Trevor Howell led off the bottom of the first for the Wolverines with a single to shortstop, and two more singles by Zac Wilis and Greyson Bogden brought Howell around to even the score at 1-1.
UVU continued the hitting in the second as Spencer Gothberg and Stone Ramsey led off the bottom half of the inning with back-to-back singles, then advanced to second and third on a passed ball. Both runners came around to score on Jordan Schlehuber’s one-out single to right center and the Wolverines took a 3-1 lead.
Beddes got into a bit of trouble in the top of the third as Bogden made a throwing error that pulled Spencer Gothberg off the base at first, but Frailey’s attempt to score from second on the play was foiled as he was caught at the plate by Gothberg’s throw to Willis to end the inning.
After Bogden’s leadoff walk in the bottom of the third, Craig Brinkerhoff showed some power with a fly ball to the wall in right center, which was good enough for an RBI triple and a 4-1 UVU lead. Brinkerhoff scored on a wild pitch for a 5-1 lead.
The ‘Runners put Beddes in another pinch in the eighth after Mahlik Jones advanced runners to second and third on a ground ball out to shortstop. David Metzger sent a two-out single to right center and both runners scored, which cut the UVU lead to 5-3 and marked the end of Beddes’ evening. Beddes struck out five and walked five batters on the night.
Brinkerhoff led off the bottom of the eighth with more power with a home run down the left field line to give UVU an insurance run entering the ninth.
After reliever Jake Mayer put the first two batters on base via hit by pitch and a walk, Kyle Valgardson entered to finish the game. After Valgardson retired the first two batters he faced, Jake Ortega gave Bakersfield a final run with a single up the middle. Frailey struck out looking on a 2-2 count to end the game with a final score of 6-4.
UVU will play the New Mexico State Aggies in the second round of the WAC Baseball Tournament Thursday, May 26, at 4 p.m. MT. The game can be seen on WAC Digital Network.
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