OREM, Utah—Spencer Gothberg ended the marathon, 13-inning contest at Brent Brown Ballpark Saturday night with a walk-off double to the center field wall to lift the UVU baseball team over the UTRGV Vaqueros 3-2. The Wolverines clinched the weekend series with the win. Matt Davidson kept UTRGV in check as he came on in relief of Kaden Schmitt in the top of the 13th with an 0-2 count, zero outs and the bases loaded and retired the Vaqueros without giving up a run.
“I was just proud our guys competed the whole time. There’s some opportunities in there when you can cave in and give up, but our guys didn’t,” said UVU coach Eric Madsen
Gothberg drew blood early with a towering, two-out solo home run to left field in the second inning, which gave the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. The Vaqueros answered in the third with back-to-back singles by Anthony Gomez and Manny Loredo. Jose Garcia then put UTRGV on the board with a double to right center, which scored Gomez from third. After he got ahead with a 1-2 count, Patrick Wolfe walked Cole Lancar to load the bases, then Joseph Collazo singled to left. The runners all advanced one base and Loredo scored to give the Vaqueros a 2-1 lead. Wolfe got out of the inning with a fly ball to right center.
After struggling to get much going at the plate, Jordan Schlehuber led off the bottom of the sixth with a line drive to the left field wall. Correy Davis misplayed the ball, which hit the wall and careened back into shallow left field. Schlehuber hustled from contact and easily reached third base for a triple. Trevor Howell lined out to third on the next pitch, but Schlehuber dove back to the bag just before Scott Mercer could make the tag. Zac Willis then drove a single to right center and Schlehuber scored easily to tie the game at 2-2.
After 7.1 innings of work and just two runs allowed, Wolfe was relieved by Kyle Valgardson, who threw 4.1 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits. Davidson got out of a bases-loaded jam in the 13th as Mercer flied out to center and Davis grounded into a double play.
The Wolverines threatened multiple times as the winning run reached third base in the ninth and 11th innings but couldn’t break through. Craig Brinkerhoff led off the bottom of the 13th with a hard hit ball to shortstop, but Gomez sent the ball sailing over the head of first baseman Victor Garcia, which allowed Brinkerhoff to advance to second base, and scoring position, on the play. After Mark Krueger drew an intentional walk, Gothberg stepped up and with two strikes shot a line drive to the center field wall. Brinkerhoff came around to score from second to end the game with a score of 3-2.
“Two strikes, just trying to fight and get something I could hit and got an elevated fastball and was able to put a good swing on it,” said Gothberg.
The Wolverines improved to 30-20 on the season, and 15-8 in WAC play. UVU looks for a sweep of UTRGV in the final game of the series Sunday at noon MT at Brent Brown Ballpark.
I’m a Pacific Northwest guy who loves his Pacific Northwest sports. An amateur movie buff who prefers the disc to digital. Chasing the sports writing dream while I geek out on Assassin’s Creed.