Know thy enemy: A preview of the week in UVU sports

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Photo by Mykah Heaton

The tough nonconference schedule continues for the Wolverine baseball team, which will head to Nebraska to take on Creighton University. Meanwhile, the softball team will get a brief reprieve from the road as it welcomes the University of Maine and Wagner University to campus.

The baseball team will open a four-game series with Creighton on Friday. The Bluejays have opened the season with a slow start, having been swept in their first two series and dropping two of three in a tournament in southern California.

Junior Rollie Lacy leads the pitching staff in innings pitched and efficiency with a 3.00 ERA through three starts. The other two starting pitchers on the staff, Keith Rogalla and Jeff Albrecht, have not won a decision in their first three starts this season.

Bryce Only, a senior infielder, is leading the team in batting average, hitting .353 with five extra-base hits and five RBIs. The rest of the club has struggled to hit, as no other player is batting over .273.

Creighton has shown an inability to score runs in the first several innings of games. They have scored a combined four runs or less in each inning this season, except for the ninth inning. The Bluejays have scored a combined 10 runs in the ninth innings of their games thus far, which means it will be imperative for the Wolverines’ closer Patrick Wolfe to shut the door without giving CU an opportunity to come back late.

The UVU softball team comes into the week with a valuable opportunity to rack up some wins at home against two teams that have struggled so far this season. In their only games on campus in the month of March, the Wolverines will play a pair of doubleheaders Tuesday and Wednesday against Maine and Wagner, respectively. First pitches are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on both days.

Maine managed to win just one of its first five games, but the losses have all been competitive –  the team has yet to lose a game by more than six runs. The Black Bears are led offensively by the trio of Rachel Carlson, Maddie Decker and Kristen Niland, each batting .333. Decker, Rachel Harvey and Alyssa Derrick lead UM with three RBIs apiece, but extra-base hits are hard to come by – the team tallied only six in the first five games. The sole win early in the season for the UM pitching staff belongs to Molly Flowers, whose 3.50 ERA also leads the team.

Wagner found itself a winless 0-5 through the first weekend of its season, with the last loss of that streak being a 15-1 defeat to Iona College. The Seahawk offense has been nowhere to be found; the team failed to score more than two runs in any of its first five games. Brianna Tredway, batting .500, is the only player in the regular lineup batting over .250. At the top of the WU pitching staff is McKaleigh Goodale, who has a good 2.33 ERA, but started the year 0-2 due to a lack of run support.

Reporting by: Ty Bianucci, Kaleb Searle