For its final regular season Pac-12 road series, the University of Utah baseball team (24-24, 12-15 Pac-12) was swept by UCLA (28-23, 17-10 Pac-12) over the weekend. The Utes dropped game one, 7-3, game two, 5-3, and the finale, 8-3.
“UCLA played very, very, very well in all phases,” said head coach Bill Kinneberg. “They pitched great, they played very good defense and offensively they did enough to keep us at bay.”
In both games one and two, Dallas Carroll was the only Ute able to make some offensive noise. Carroll blasted a three-run home run in both games to give Utah a combined six runs over the two days.
“It was more just putting everything together and I think that’s what the biggest thing was,” Carroll said. “It’s just stringing things together, putting defense, offense and pitching all into one was what kind of did it in for us I think this weekend.”
In the series opener, the Utes tallied six hits with one belonging to Chandler Anderson, Hunter Simmons, Zack Moeller, Wade Gulden and two to Carroll.
UCLA put up its first run in the bottom of the first before adding three more runs in the second. Carroll’s dinger came in the third to pull Utah within one run, but in the fifth and sixth the Bruins added insurance runs. The Utes had a chance to get on the board again in the sixth when Simmons singled, and Gulden walked, but a strikeout ended the inning, stranding the runners on base.
On the mound, Jayson Rose fell to 7-3 on the season after earning the loss. Rose pitched 4 1/3 innings allowing six runs on nine hits with two walks and one strikeout. Trenton Stoltz and Josh Tedeschi also saw time on the mound. UCLA ace Griffin Canning pitched a complete game against the Utes.
In game two, UCLA put up all five of its runs, and had all three of its hits in the bottom of the first. Two walks, and a single loaded the bases for the Bruins. Utah issued a third walk that sent in UCLA’s first run of the day. A home run by the next batter gave UCLA a 5-0 lead. Carroll’s long ball was hit in the sixth to send in Ellis Kelly and Anderson. Utah outhit UCLA, 5-3 in the defeat.
“Statelines don’t show it, but I feel like we hit the ball well, it was just kind of at people,” Carroll said.
Riley Ottesen earned the loss to fall to 4-4 on the year. Over 7 innings pitched, Ottesen allowed five runs on three hits with five walks and five strikeouts. Dylan Drachler threw the final inning and struck out one.
Wrapping up the weekend on Sunday, UCLA took a quick 1-0 edge in the first before Simmons hit an RBI single to score Anderson in the third. The Bruins added five more runs to the board in the fifth and a run in the sixth before Utah was able to score again. In the seventh, Kyle Hoffman walked and Kelly and DaShawn Keirsey, Jr. singled to load the bases. Anderson and Carroll both hit RBI groundouts to give Utah its final two runs of the contest. The Bruins final run of the game came in the eight.
Earning the loss was Josh Lapiana who fell to a 3-6 record. Lapiana threw 4 2/3 innings allowing five runs on seven hits with one walk and striking out four. Tanner Thomas, Josh Tedeschi and Drachler also made appearances.
“They had a good weekend and we didn’t,” Kinneberg said. “[It’s] a little disappointing in the results for us, but they’re playing very well right now.”
The Utes will next face Arizona State at Smith’s Ballpark to close out their regular season with a three-game series that gets underway on Friday.