Wolverines unable to hang on against Portland, fall 7-5 in series finale

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Wolverines finish a series tied 2-2 for the second time this season following a 7-5 loss to the Portland Pilots on Sunday afternoon.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Utah Valley University men’s baseball team (7-5) was defeated 7-5 by the Portland University Pilots (7-4) on Sunday afternoon in their series finale against the Pilots at Joe Etzel Field in Portland, Oregon.

The Wolverines scored first in the second inning, going up 1-0. The Pilots then scored a run in the third and fourth inning each to steal a 2-1 lead. The Wolverines responded with a three-run sixth inning to retake the lead 4-2 before the Pilots scored four runs at the bottom of the frame to go up 6-4. UVU once again responded in the seventh inning, scoring a run to cut the deficit to 6-5. However, the Pilots scored again in the eighth inning to go up 7-5 and then held off the Wolverines to finish the series tied 2-2.

The Wolverines batted at a .194 hitting percentage, hitting the ball seven times with three runs batted in and five batters who were walked. However, the Wolverines were struck out 10 times and had 11 runners stranded on base.

Daniel Dickinson had two hits for the Wolverines while also batting a runner home. Garrett Broussard also had two hits and scored a run. He also walked once. Patrick Mills had one hit and scored a run while getting walked once as well. Calyn Halvorson and Luke Iverson also registered a hit for the Wolverines. 

Pitcher Jayse Burkett started for UVU on the mound, pitching four innings for the Wolverines. Burkett allowed five hits, two runs (only one was earned), and three walks but pitched two strikeouts, six flyouts, and four groundouts. He also left six Pilot runners stranded on base.

Reliever Devin Smith (0-1) picked up the loss for the Wolverines in relief for Burkett. Through two innings pitched, he allowed four hits and four runs (only one was earned). Smith had one strikeout, one flyout, and three groundouts. 

Austin Watson pitched the last two innings for UVU, surrendering only three hits, one earned run, and one walk. Watson was able to force three flyouts and three groundouts as well.

After escaping a Burkett escaped a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the first inning, the Wolverines responded at the top of the second inning. With Broussard on first and Iverson on second, Broussard was able to force an error by the Pilots’ infield after he started running to steal second base which allowed Iverson to run home and score to give UVU a 1-0 lead early.

A sacrifice fly by Christian Cooney allowed Nich Klemp to score in the bottom of the third inning to help the Pilots even the score 1-1. Klemp kept the scoring going for the Pilots in the bottom of the fourth inning with a line drive to right-center field that scored Jake Holcroft, giving the Pilots a 2-1 lead.

The Wolverines were able to respond in the top of the sixth inning with a double by Iverson out to left field which scored Nate Bach to tie the game 2-2. A few at-bats later, Cole Jordan helped score Iverson by forcing an infield error, helping the Wolverines retake the lead 3-2. Trey Cutchen followed with a hit that forced a fielder’s choice, allowing Jordan to score to help UVU go up 4-2. 

The Pilots answered the Wolverines in the bottom of the sixth inning by scoring four runs off four hits to retake the lead 6-4.

UVU was able to score again in the seventh inning after Dickinson hammered an RBI double out to left-center field which scored Mills during the play to put the Wolverines back within one, 6-5.

Cooney helped the Pilots respond at the bottom of the eighth inning with an RBI double that scored Evan Scavotto to extend the Pilots’ lead out to 7-5. 

The Wolverines attempted to rally at the top of the ninth inning as Dickinson was able to reach second base. However, Pilots’ closing pitcher Jacob Dobmeier was able to force a strikeout and groundout to close out the game and seal the victory for PU.

UVU now looks to bounce back in its next matchup against the Northwest Nazarene University Nighthawks (8-12) on Monday, March 6, at Elmore W. Vail Field in Nampa, Idaho. The first pitch will start at 3 p.m. MT.

Be sure to stay tuned into UVUReview.com for updates on the game.