Wolverines down HBU and advance to Game 11 in the GWC Tournament

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After a late night victory Tuesday night in Game 4 against NYIT, Utah Valley University advanced to round two in the Great West Conference Tournament to take on Houston Baptist University.

At the top of the fourth inning, HBU’s Jake Gonzalez hit an RBI single putting UVU in a 3-5 deficit. It wasn’t until the bottom of the ninth that Billy Burgess’s RBI single brought Jake Rickenbach home sealing the 9-8 victory for the Wolverines.

“We have been very lucky to come from behind and win, but it has everything to do with our team,” said head coach Eric Madsen. “They are just a special group of players.”

In the second inning, Alex Exon hit a single scoring UVU’s first hit of the night. Following Exon’s single, Cole Butcher hit a two-run triple that gave the Wolverines their first run of the night. UVU continued their scoring when a Rickenbach sacrifice fly brought Butcher home.

Billy Burgess ended the night with three RBIs which came from his home run in the fifth inning putting Utah Valley ahead at 6-5. UVU switched pitchers at the top of the sixth having Taylor Mangum take over for Adam Gunn. With HBU behind and bases loaded, Curtis Jones hit a three-run triple allowing the Huskies to take back their lead at 6-8.

“They believe in what they do,” said Madsen in regards to the Wolverines. “There’s no panic or press or anything when they’re in the dugout, there is just so much conviction that they are going to win.”

UVU struggled to make runs as they went scoreless in the sixth and seventh inning. It wasn’t until the ninth when Sean Moysh was lined out after his RBI which brought Butcher home to tie the game at 8-8.

“In reality, we just trust our team and I trust those guys,” said Madsen. “All we wanted to do was get into position and keep it close enough that we have a chance to win in the end because we know we will.”

Burgess was Utah Valley’s last hitter. The senior stepped up to the plate with two outs, the winning runner on third and a tied score. Burgess eventually created a third base throwing error which allowed Rickenbach to advance to home scoring the winning run to the Wolverines 9-8 victory.

Utah Valley University will now advance in the tournament to take on North Dakota in route to take home their third straight GWC Tournament Championship. Game 11 will be Thursday night at 6 pm at Brent Brown Ballpark.

“It would be giant for us to win the tournament,” said Madsen. “As I have said before: We are going to go undefeated and we want to go undefeated. The biggest goal for us is to win every game.”


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