Baseball: Utes triumphant in conference opener, clinch two Ws in three-game series at No. 19 Oregon

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After winning just four out of its first 15 games of the season, the Utah baseball team improved its overall record to 6-12, 2-1 in Pac-12, after winning the conference series 2-1 against No.19 Oregon in Eugene.

The Utes’ victorious weekend marked the program’s fourth conference series win since joining the conference. Head coach Bill Kinneberg thinks this weekend’s achievements are a good stepping stone moving forward in the Pac-12.

“We got great performances from Jayson Rose and Josh [Lapiana] on the pitching side in both wins this weekend,” Kinneberg said. “We did just enough offensively for the wins. I thought it was a much better weekend for us in a lot of phases. I felt we finally got a little better this weekend.”

On Friday, Jayson Rose started the game throwing 6 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits with nine strikeouts. Dylan Drachler pitched the final 2 1/3 innings without allowing a single hit, striking out four, giving Utah 13 total strikeouts on the evening.

In the top of the first inning, Kody Davis scored following a ground out, giving the Utes a 1-0 lead over the Ducks. The Ducks would respond in the bottom of the third, scoring off a sacrifice fly and tying the game 1-1. In the seventh inning Dallas Carroll led off with a triple and scored quickly after a wild pitch, regaining the lead for Utah, 2-1. One inning later, DaShawn Keirsey, Jr. scored off a passed ball, and in the final inning Chandler Anderson crossed home plate for final run of the evening after a passed ball, giving Utah a 4-1 victory over the Ducks.

The following afternoon the teams returned to the diamond for the second game of the series. Oregon scored off back-to-back hits to start the game, but the Utes quickly responded with a run of their own after Andre Jackson scored on a ground out.

After tying the game, AJ Young gave the Utes a one-run lead following an RBI single, scoring Cody Scaggari. Following a balk from Carroll, the Ducks tied the game at two in the fourth inning. However, the Utes would return with three runs in the top of the fifth, giving Utah a 5-2 lead. Oregon rallied back in the bottom half of the fifth and scored four runs on four hits, taking the lead. The Ducks also added three insurance runs in the seventh inning before finishing the game 9-5.

Carroll, the game’s losing pitcher, threw 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts. Josh Tedeschi would take over for Carroll in the middle of the fifth, throwing for two innings and surrendering two runs on two hits with three strikeouts. Trenton Stoltz finished the game on the mound for the Utes, throwing 1 1/3 innings, and giving up one run on two hits with a strikeout.

The teams wrapped up the conference series on Sunday afternoon, with Josh Lapiana starting on the mound. Lapiana would deliver a career-best performance, pitching his first career complete game shutout, defeating the Ducks 2-0. He finished with five strikeouts on three hits and one walk. Lapiana only allowed one Oregon batter to reach second base following an error.

Davis, after being walked, would score off an RBI single from Carroll, giving the Utes a one-run lead after the first. In the seventh inning Keirsey Jr. added an additional run for the Utes following a balk, giving Utah a 2-0 lead over Oregon.

The Utes will head south this weekend for a three-game series against the ASU Sun Devils. First pitch for Utah’s Friday at 7:30 p.m. MT.

a.shrkian@dailyutahchronicle.com

@ArmenMShrikian

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