Baseball: Bad second inning dooms UVU in home opener against Portland

Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics

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The Wolverine baseball team opened their home schedule Thursday with a 10-3 loss to Portland. UVU scored in the bottom of the first inning when Zac Willis got on base thanks to a fielding error. Mark Krueger and Craig Brinkerhoff singled to bring Willis home.

Then the wheels fell off for UVU in the top of the second. Cody Hawken, Kevin Farley and Matt Kelly all singled for the Pilots with Kelly grabbing an RBI. Michael Forgione reached base due to a fielding error to load the bases. Immediately after, Jason Rosen hit a two-run double. Two batters later, Caleb Whalen hit a sacrifice fly to bring another runner home. On the next at-bat, Cooper Hummel hit an RBI single and advanced to second on another fielding error, which brought another runner home.

Jackson Cofer got the start for the Wolverines but gave way to the bullpen after just 1.2 innings pitched having given up six hits and three earned runs.

Cofer was replaced by Logan Hold, who gave up an RBI triple to his first batter, Ryan Barr. The Wolverines finally got out of the second inning on the next batter, but they had given up seven runs in the inning.

“We just didn’t play good baseball,” said Head Coach Eric Madsen. “We didn’t pitch as good as we’re capable of and then obviously we had our chances defensively and didn’t do things and it kind of starts to spiral.”

UVU got one run back in the bottom of the eighth on a pair of Pilot errors, but Portland responded with three runs in the top of the ninth on an Eric Sapp RBI triple, a Whalen SAC fly and a solo homer from Hummel. The Wolverines scored one final run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth, but at that point it was too little too late.

Hold had a solid outing, pitching 5.1 innings with four strikeouts, one walk, and four hits given up with no earned runs. Jason Jourdan pitched the final two innings for the Wolverines with two strikeouts, three hits given up and three earned runs.

Jordan Wilcox got the start and the win for the Pilots, pitching seven complete innings to the tune of six strikeouts, one batter walked and only four hits allowed with no earned runs. Jackson Lockwood closed the game for Portland, striking out one, walking three and giving up one hit and one earned run.

“It’s a long weekend, we’ve got four games so we’ve got every chance to win three,” said Madsen. “It’s a good team and you’ve gotta figure out a way to go out and compete with them punch for punch.”

UVU will try to even the series with Portland Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.

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