Wolverines back in the win column with split at Northern Colorado

Utah Valley finished 2-2 over the weekend at Northern Colorado, picking up their first pair of wins in WAC play. (Photo by Tod Fierner, courtesy of UVU Athletics)

Utah Valley baseball picked up their first win since Feb. 20 as they split a four-game series with Northern Colorado over the weekend.

UVU improved their season record to 4-16 (2-6), while the Bears fell to 6-17 (2-10). UNC currently sits at No. 10 in the WAC standings and UVU is two games ahead at No. 8.

Sam Leach threw an eight-inning shutout for the Bears in game one on Friday afternoon as UNC cruised to a 10-0 victory. The Wolverines only had two base hits all game — a double by Xander Marco and a single by Kade Poulsen, both in the seventh inning. 

Right-handed pitcher Jesse Schmit (1-3) got the start on the mound for UVU and threw 4.1 innings. He allowed six total runs (only three of them earned) while striking out five and walking four. The five hits he  allowed are the fewest of any game since the season opener on Feb. 19. Schmit’s season ERA still sits at 9.15.

Logan Petet and Dawson Day each pitched an inning and a third in relief and Dylan Cook faced one batter in the bottom of the eighth.

UVU didn’t look much better in game two on Saturday afternoon. They were held scoreless aside from a solo shot by Brandon Luna in the top of the sixth. Ultimately, they lost 8-1 in a seven inning contest.

Marco — who tripled to right in the top of the seventh — was the only other Wolverine with a hit in game two.

Nick Sims (1-3) looked impressive on the mound initially, giving up two runs in the first four innings. In the bottom of the fifth however, he allowed four more and the Bears ran away with the win.

Blake Zeleny gave up two more runs in two-thirds of an inning and Cole Yocum threw a third to clean things up in the bottom of the sixth.

Things finally turned around offensively for the Wolverines in game three on Saturday afternoon as UVU came away with a 7-3 victory.

Poulsen drove in the team’s first run of the day on a single in the third inning. Garrett Broussard hit a two-run double in the fourth, while Poulsen drove in three more runs after reaching on an error to center field.

UNC scored one in the sixth and  Broussard drove in Trey Newman with a sacrifice fly to left field in the eighth to give UVU a 7-1 lead heading into the final frame.

The Bears added two more runs in the bottom of the ninth on a throwing error, but Spenser Triplett came in for the save — his second of the year.

Bobby Voortmeyer (1-3) picked up his first win of the season after allowing one earned run across 5.2 innings of work. Devin Smith also threw three innings in relief and struck out eight of the 16 batters he faced.

Triplett was awarded his third save of the season as the Wolverines won game four on Sunday, 7-6. Mason Gray (1-3) picked up the win for UVU after striking out nine across five innings.

UNC took a 1-0 lead in the first with a solo shot, but Tavyn Lords drove in three in the second to give the Wolverines the lead. The Bears battled back with two more runs in the bottom of the second, evening the score at three at the end of two.

Mitch Moralez hit a lead-off homer in the top of the third, and Marco followed it up with a solo shot of his own on the very next at-bat. UVU scored a single run each in the fourth and seventh innings, while the Bears scored one in the fifth and two in the seventh. The Wolverines led 7-6 at the end of the seventh. Neither team would score again.

The Bears had runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the ninth, but a failed bunt resulted in a 3-5-4 double play for UVU. The next batter flied out to left and the Wolverines barely eked out their second straight victory.

The Wolverines host the 11-12-1 (6-2) Grand Canyon Lopes at UCCU Ballpark in a four-game series this weekend beginning on Thursday, April 1 at 6 p.m. MT. They will play a double-header on Friday with games at 1 and 4 p.m. MT and will wrap up on Saturday with a game at noon. All four games will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network.

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