Wolverines win third-straight game, rout Pilots 4-1 in series opener

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Wolverines took game one of their four-game series against the Portland Pilots on Friday afternoon. The Wolverines continue their best start in program history.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Utah Valley University men’s baseball team (6-3) picked up a 4-1 win over the Portland University Pilots (5-3) on Friday afternoon at Joe Etzel Field in Portland, Oregon.

The Wolverines scored all four of their runs in the fourth inning to go up 4-0 early and held a shutout over PU until the ninth inning where the Pilots tried to rally but UVU was able to mitigate the damage to one run and ultimately come out on top.

Prior to the game, the Pilots had received votes to be ranked, making the win even more monumental for the Wolverines.

The Wolverines, batting at a .188 hitting percentage, had six hits (half coming in the fourth inning), batted in all four of their runs, and had four batters walk. UVU also struck out seven times and had seven runners stranded on base but was still able to score more than enough runs to win.

All six of the Wolverines’ hits came from a different player. Nate Bach had a two-RBI double for the Wolverines and Daniel Dickinson and Garrett Broussard batted in a runner as well. The Wolverines also had four different batters that were walked.

Senior pitcher Logan Gerling (3-0) gave the Wolverines a strong start from the mound en route to picking up the win. Through four innings, Gerling allowed one run, no hits, and no walks. He forced three strikeouts, seven flyouts, and one groundout.

Reliever Ethan Fowlks finished the remaining five innings, allowing one earned run, five hits, and no walks. Fowlks had five strikeouts and forced nine groundouts.

After a scoreless first three innings, the Wolverines wasted no time to get on the board first in the top of the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and only one out, Bach was able to rifle a two-RBI double out to right field to score Patrick Mills and Burke Camper, giving UVU a 2-0 lead early. Dickinson followed with a sacrifice groundout into the infield, scoring Brandon Luna to help the Wolverines go up 3-0. Broussard then grounded a single through the left side to bring home Bach and give UVU a 4-0 edge over the Pilots.

The Pilots tried to spark a last-minute rally in the top of the ninth inning, getting two runners into scoring position with two outs. A wild pitch by Fowlks would then allow Nich Klemp to come sprinting home and end the shutout for the Wolverines. However, Fowlks would bounce back and force a groundout to close out the game, sealing the 4-1 victory for the Wolverines.

The Wolverines now lead the series 1-0 and will continue the series on Saturday, March 4, in a doubleheader at Joe Etzel Field. Game one will start at 1 p.m. MT while game two’s first pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. MT. 

Be sure to tune into UVUReview.com for updates.