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

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Photo by Brigham Berthold

It’s a busy week on the diamond for the UVU baseball and softball teams. Both squads have midweek games before their respective weekend series. The baseball team will enjoy a midseason break from conference play while the softball team is just getting started in its WAC schedule.

The baseball team goes on the road for one game against the University of Nevada Las Vegas Tuesday evening. The Rebels have played just under .500 ball thus far this season and have shown inconsistency in both the offensive and defensive aspect of the game. Although losing both of the matchups, UNLV played well against then-No. 3 Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Rebels forced extra innings in the second game but turned around and lost 29-8 to New Mexico two days later. Which Rebels team UVU will face remains to be seen.

The Wolverines open a three-game set with the University of the Incarnate Word Friday night in Orem. The Cardinals, part of the Southland Conference, have a good offensive squad. Although being outscored by their opponents, UIW has scored 50 more runs than the Wolverines this season. The two teams’ pitching staffs match up well, as both teams sport mid-six ERAs and have allowed about the same number of runs.

Sophomore Bernie Martinez is the ace of staff with a 3-0 record and a 1.17 ERA. He has pitched late into the game in all six starts this year, including one complete game. Freshman Kyler Genenbacher is the Cardinals’ biggest offensive threat, batting .386 on the season with an on-base percentage of .457, meaning he finds a way on base virtually half of the time.

The Wolverine softball team will take a brief break from WAC play Tuesday when it travels to Cedar City for a doubleheader with Southern Utah University. The Thunderbirds are led by Kendall Kapitzke and Morgan Leonard, each batting over .320 with 16 and 17 RBIs, respectively. Beyond those two, SUU struggles offensively; they scored two or fewer runs in 11 of their first 23 games this season. However, gaining an early lead will be imperative for the Wolverines since SUU is a perfect 5-0 this season when leading after four innings.

The team will then return to campus for its second home stand of the season after going 3-1 in a pair of doubleheaders in March. The Wolverines will host a three-game series against WAC foe Cal State Bakersfield. The Roadrunners managed just five wins in their opening nonconference schedule. All five wins came with Summer Evans on the mound, who leads the team with a 4.67 ERA. The other three CSUB pitchers combine for an 0-13 record. The Roadrunners struggle in run support as well, with only two players, Josie Flores and Nadia Amezcua, Josie Flores, batting over .300. Flores played her freshman year in 2014 at UVU and helped the Wolverines to an NCAA tournament appearance. Chris Hipa leads CSUB in scoring with four home runs and 14 RBIs on the season.

Reporting by: Kaleb Searle, Ty Bianucci