As their season winds down, the University of Utah baseball team hosts the University of Washington in their final home series. The Utes are coming off of a single game against in-state school, Utah Valley University. They had a successful nine innings, gathering eight runs in one inning and 14 hits overall to bring the team to a 12-6 victory.
“Confidence is up, and we have been playing well on Tuesday nights this year,” said junior outfielder Chandler Anderson. “It is a good momentum boost going into the weekend against Washington in a Thursday, Friday, Saturday series. We really need to win a series here at home in front of our home crowd.”
In their last Pac-12 appearance, the Utes fell in three games to the University of Oregon. Although they played well, the Utes were not able to pull together a win in the series.
Against the Ducks, the Utes hit very well, including a two for four plate appearance from Dominic Foscalina in game three. In this final game of the series, Utah out-hit Oregon, and Josh Lapiana threw six innings, allowing only two runs and four hits, and striking out four players.
“Like we always do, it’s just basic stuff that we have got to make sure that we are physically and mentally ready to go tomorrow,” said head coach Bill Kinneberg. “It will be a short practice. We are into our ninth or tenth month of doing this, so there is not a whole lot of new stuff that we have to work on, but we just have to make sure that we are ready to go tomorrow.”
Washington’s last Pac-12 series was a victory over UCLA, and those wins put them in the fourth place spot in the Pac-12 standings.
“We need to work on playing collectively offensively and defensively. We seem to have our best games on both sides of the ball when we all play together and help each other out,” said Anderson. “When we are at home, we all have our dialed routines, and everything runs a lot smoother than when we are on the road, and the guys are in their best shape.”
Utah is getting ready to close out their season, as they only have one more series to go before their season comes to an end.
Even though they are coming off of some rough series, the Utes are looking forward to closing out their season on a positive note with some wins. Although their upcoming competition is highly ranked, they have been practicing and working hard to be successful in these upcoming games.
“Our goal is to get better every day and sometimes we get that going and sometimes we don’t, and that’ll remain the same through the end of the year,” said Kinneberg. “We still have six games left, and there are still chances to play very well and to win some games and get ready for summer and get ready for next year.”
Game one will take place on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at Salt Lake City’s Smith’s Ballpark.