Utah baseball played in their first true series over the weekend as they faced off against the University of Arizona in Tucson. The Utes picked up their first win in conference play with an offensive showcase against the Wildcats.
Offensively, the Utes exploded in game one of the series, putting 21 runs on the board, the highest total this season.
In the first inning, the Utes began the scoring spree by putting three runs on the board. Utah added another run in the second as the Wildcats plated two runs themselves.
The third and fourth innings were exceptional for the Utes offensively, as 11 runs crossed the plate.
Dominic Foscalina singled to begin the batting extravaganza as Isaac Deveaux and Erick Migueles came around to score. Matt Richardson singled soon after, adding Chandler Anderson’s run to the board and putting the Utes ahead 7-2. Oliver Dunn then hit a sacrifice fly, a move which brought Foscalina to the plate. A few pitches later, Richardson swiped home as the ball found the backstop on a wild pitch. Zack Moeller singled later on to drive in Chase Fernlund, capping the Utes’ monstrous inning at six runs.
Foscalina started the fourth just as he started the third — by driving in Deveaux to begin another big inning. Rykker Tom crossed the plate on a throwing error by the Wildcat catcher to put the Utes up by 10. Not long after, Dunn doubled down the left field line to score Fernlund and Richardson. Moeller showed the Wildcats how dangerous his bat can be as he doubled to score Dunn. Utah finished the fourth inning leading Arizona 15-2.
The Utes and the Wildcats traded blows in the fifth inning as both teams tacked on another run, bringing the score to 16-3.
Freshman outfielder Deveaux singled in the sixth, bringing Moeller to the plate to chalk up another score for the Utes. Tyler Thompson crossed the plate an inning later on a Dunn single to put Utah ahead by 15.
Arizona finally got the bats going in the seventh as the Wildcats added six runs, chipping away at Utah’s early lead.
Utah’s bats couldn’t be silenced though, as the Utes added to their run total in the ninth. Richardson continued his big day at the plate, singling to right field and bringing Anderson home. Fernlund hit the baseball squarely as he tripled down the left-field line, plating Richardson for another Utah run. The junior later came around to score as Dunn grounded out, finishing the Utes’ big day at the plate.
The game one blowout at Hi Corbett Field ended in a 21-10 win by Utah.
Game two of the weekend series started the opposite of how Friday’s game began. Arizona took the early 3-0 lead in the first inning after back-to-back home runs. The Utes were ice cold as the Wildcats tacked on another four runs in the third inning.
Arizona’s Cameron Cannon blasted his second home run of the game in the fourth, putting the Wildcats ahead 8-0.
The pitching for the Wildcats seemed to have Utah’s bats on a cue card. Arizona’s starter tossed a six-hit complete game shutout against the Utes.
The only bright spot in Utah’s lineup Saturday night was Tom, who went 2-4 with two singles. Four Utes combined for one hit each on the night as Arizona took down the Utes 8-0.
Game three started off a bit stronger for the Utes as Migueles blasted a three-run bomb to put Utah on the board in the first.
In the bottom half of the inning, Arizona added two runs of their own. Then the Wildcats’ bats came alive, tacking on five runs in the second to take a 7-3 lead.
Moeller singled in the top of the fourth inning to bring Foscalina home to begin the comeback for Utah. A throwing error by Arizona’s third baseman scored Deveaux before a two-out single brought Anderson home to make the score 7-6.
Arizona distanced the lead back to three, as a triple and sacrifice fly brought in the Wildcats ninth run. The next batter for Arizona hit a triple to put a runner on third with one out in the fifth. One pitch later turned into a throwing error which scored run number 10 for the Wildcats. Utah’s defense continued to struggle as Zac McCleve walked a batter to load the bases with two outs. Matt Frazier singled to drive in two more runs for Arizona, bringing the score to 12-6. Utah finally closed the inning when a pop up in foul territory found Moeller’s glove for out number three.
The Wildcats brought six more runs home in the last two innings of the game with the Utes only driving in one. The final score of game three in Tucson was 18-7 in favor of Arizona.
Next up for Utah baseball is the Grand Canyon Lopes. Grand Canyon is 9-10 on the season with wins against Wichita State, Ball State, TCU, USC, Nevada and Xavier. Utah will be the Lopes’ final game before conference play begins. Last season, GCU went 34-24 (19-5) and won the Western Athletic Conference. Although Grand Canyon won the regular season WAC championship, they were swept in the WAC tournament, causing the Lopes to miss out on the College World Series.
Utah will face Grand Canyon in Phoenix, Arizona at 3 p.m. on Monday, March 18, 2019.