Photo by Sarah Sanchez
OREM — UVU beat Chicago State University 11-10 on a day with no shortage of offense at Brent Brown Ballpark in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon.
Both starting pitchers Jake Mayer and Brad Moore got roughed up in their outings as neither was able to make it out of the first four innings. Jackson Overlund’s two-run home run in the sixth inning was the difference in the game as the Cougars mounted a comeback but eventually fell one run short.
The Wolverines (13-23, 6-5) got into trouble in the top of the third inning when the Cougars (8-27, 4-7) put six runs on the board. Third baseman Jacob Northrup got the first hit of the day off Mayer in the form of a double that rolled to the wall in right field. Then Mayer, who struggled with location, issued a walk and hit a batter to load the bases with two outs. Left fielder Jacob Vanitvelt made him pay with an opposite-field grand slam. A home run and another three hits later Mayer was out of the game and CSU led 6-0.
UVU answered with six runs of their own in the bottom half of the third inning. It started with a couple of hits and an error and was capped off when Callahan Moltzan went deep with two on to even the score at six runs.
In the bottom of the fourth inning Overlund ripped a double to left field and scored two more runs to give UVU its first lead of the day. Catcher Jake Atkinson hit a solo home run in the fifth inning and in the sixth Overlund smacked a homerun with a runner on to give UVU an 11-7 advantage.
Moltzan and Overlund both finished the day 2-4, the latter scored two runs and knocked in four runs. The Wolverines struck out just two times in the game, helping them score 11 runs.
Marco Briones, who came into the game in the third inning, pitched 4 2/3 innings and picked up the win. He allowed just one unearned run before he gave up back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning to Cougars short stop Julian Russell and Vanitvelt. Russell’s homer cleared the fence to the stadium in left field entirely. Right hander Jason Jourdan entered the game but was able to retire only one of the four batters he faced prompting head coach Eric Madsen to bring in his closer Patrick Wolfe.
Wolfe induced a fly out to get out of the inning in the eighth then struck out the side in the ninth frame to end the game and earn his ninth save of the year and second of the series in as many games.
UVU will play the series finale later Saturday night with first pitch at approximately 6:15 p.m. MDT. Paxton Schultz will get the start for the Wolverines in the series finale.
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.