Baseball: Wolverines drop series opener to Golden Gophers

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OREM, Utah—The Utah Valley University baseball team dropped the series opener to the Minnesota Golden Gophers 13-5 at Brent Brown Ballpark Friday night. The Wolverines managed 10 hits on the night, but got no production from the bottom of the order as the six through nine hitters finished 1-for-12.

Starting pitcher Patrick Wolfe threw 4.0 innings and allowed five runs behind seven hits, one walk and one strikeout. Shortstop Greyson Bogden extended his hitting streak to four games by going 2-for-5 on the night and scoring one run and knocking in two more.

The Golden Gophers struck early with two runs in the top of the first inning on back-to-back fielder’s choice putouts at first base. UVU answered in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of their own behind RBI singles from Bogden and Mark Krueger.

Minnesota opened up a 12-2 lead with 10 runs scored over the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings including a solo home run to right center field by pitcher Matt Fiedler in the top of the fifth inning.

The Wolverines answered with a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning by stringing together four hits. Bogden doubled to left center on a 2-2 pitch to bring around Zac Willis from first base. Stone Ramsey singled up the middle to score Bogden and put UVU within 12-5, but that was as close as the Wolverines got.

“We gave up the big inning in the sixth and that’s tough to come back from in any park,” UVU coach Eric Madsen said. “Today was a hitter’s dream. A lot of hits, a lot of chances to score runs, but you’ve got to make it happen early on. We’re not stopping them on the defensive side, and we’re not answering them on the offensive side.”

Right fielder Alex Boxwell led off the eighth inning for UM with a double to right center field, then advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. First baseman Matt Stemper singled to left center to give the Golden Gophers their 13th, and final, run of the evening.

UVU will take on UM Saturday at 6 p.m. at Brent Brown Ballpark in the second game of a three-game series. Jackson Cofer is slated to start on the mound for the Wolverines.