Utah Valley University was able to hold off Sacramento State after scoring seven runs in the fourth inning to take the second game of the three-game set on Thursday night.
The Wolverines improved to 8-11 on the season after defeating the Hornets 10-6. Six of their nine starters batted in a run, including shortstop Kai Hatch, who was able to go 3 for 4, pushed across three runs and garnered two stolen bases for the night.
Sacramento State came out early, putting on two runs on the board with a two-run home run by Clay Cederquist. The Wolverines answered back with one run in the bottom of the second by backup catcher, Taylor Berg.
Sacramento State starter Ty Nichols came into the game with a 10.97 ERA. He looked to be cruising until the 4th inning when he gave up six runs over 1/3 of an inning. It started with Kai Hatch getting a single, Taylor Berg walking, and Cole Butcher getting a single as well. The bases were loaded with no outs on the board when Nichols walked Jordy Hart and Sean Moysh to tie the game 3-3. Billy Burgess came to the plate and hit a 2-run single followed by a 2-run double by Austin Heaps taking the lead, 7-3. Utah Valley University never looked back after that.
“Our guys kept the pressure on them and it was good to see them bounce back after getting down early and just continue to fight,” UVU head coach Eric Madsen said about his team. “Even after we took the lead I felt like our guys still continued to bang away at them.”
Jeremy Gendlek got the start and was able to hold the lead after allowing six runs over five innings pitched and striking out four. He picked up his third win of the year.
Hatch was able to turn his game around, going 3 for 4 and driving in three runs and putting the nail on the coffin in the eighth, getting a two-run single.
“He’s struggled at the plate lately,” Madsen said about Hatch. “To see him make some adjustments and to come through like he’s capable of and like he did tonight was awesome. He’s a good player and he just needs to continue to perform that way.”
UVU will host the final of the three-game set Saturday at noon and then start a series with a team they swept earlier in the season, Southern Utah, on Thursday, March 29.