Wolverines sneak past Northwest Nazarene in 4-3 win over the Nighthawks

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Wolverines are now 5-2 in their last seven games following a 4-3 win over the Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks on Monday afternoon.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Utah Valley University men’s baseball team (8-5) edged out the Northwest Nazarene University Nighthawks (8-13) in a 4-3 victory on Monday afternoon at Elmore W. Vail Field in Nampa, Idaho. 

The Wolverines scored first, using a two-run second inning to go up 2-0 early. The Nighthawks scored two runs in the fourth inning in response to the Wolverines, evening the score to 2-2. The Wolverines would retake the lead in the seventh inning to go up 3-2 before the Nighthawks once again evened the score at the bottom of the frame. UVU was then able to pull away by scoring a run at the top of the ninth inning to go up 4-3 and then held on to win the game.

UVU batted at a .241 hitting percentage, registering seven hits, three runners batted in (all of which came from Garrett Broussard), and five batters walked. 

Broussard had a big game for the Wolverines, hitting the ball a team-high twice to add to his three RBIs. Matthew Schwartz contributed a hit and three runs scored for the Wolverines while getting walked two times and stealing a base. Four different Wolverines had one run apiece as well.

The Wolverines used six different pitchers in the contest, combining to allow nine hits, three runs (two earned), and five walks. The pitching staff also forced six strikeouts, 11 groundouts, and eight flyouts. UVU also stranded nine Nighhawks on base.

Colton Kennedy started the game for UVU, pitching the first three innings and allowing no hits or runs. Kennedy also had one strikeout, five flyouts, and two groundouts.

A little after Kennedy was relieved, Chase Hennessey came in and also had a great outing for the Wolverines. Hennessey pitched 2.2 innings, giving up no hits or runs while forcing four strikeouts, three groundouts, and one flyout.

An inning after Hennessey was relieved, Drew Woody (1-0), who picked up the win, allowed only two hits and no runs while pitching four groundouts in a 1.1-inning appearance. 

Closing pitcher Josh Brown came in relief for Woody, picking up his first save of the season as he closed out the game for the Wolverines. Brown only yielded two hits while keeping the Nighthawks scoreless and forcing a groundout and a flyout en route to the Wolverines winning.

After a scoreless start to the game, UVU was able to get Trey Cutchen and Schwartz, respectively, in scoring position without any outs at the top of the second inning. Subsequently, a passed ball allowed Cutchen to run home and score to give the Wolverines an early 1-0 lead. A few plays later, Broussard drove a sacrifice groundout into the infield to score Schwartz, extending the Wolverines’ lead out to 2-0.

The Nighthawks were able to respond at the bottom of the fourth inning, hitting the ball three times and scoring two runs, including a one-run home run by Shane Jamison, to tie the game 2-2.

The Wolverines retook the lead at the top of the seventh inning after Broussard blasted an RBI single out to right field to score Schwartz to help UVU go up 3-2.

The Nighthawks once again answered the Wolverines at the bottom of the seventh, scoring another game-tying run to even the score 3-3.

However, the Broussard-Schwartz connection once again came in clutch for the Wolverines at the top of the ninth inning as a Broussard single up the middle of the diamond allowed Schwartz to score for the third time in the game, giving the Wolverines a 4-3 edge over the Nighthawks.

NZU attempted to rally in the bottom frame, hitting two consecutive singles to get runners on base with no outs. However, Brown was able to help the Wolverines escape trouble by forcing a double play and a groundout to close out the game, sealing the 4-3 victory for UVU.

The win also helps the Wolverines take a 5-4 lead in the all-time series between the two programs. The teams will have a rematch at the UCCU Ballpark in Orem, Utah on Monday, March 13.

UVU next plays the Lehigh University Mountainhawks (6-4) in their opening four-game series at the UCCU Ballpark in Orem, Utah on Friday at 4:05 p.m. MT. All four games in the series can be streamed on ESPN+.