The University of Utah baseball team hosted the Oregon Ducks on a rainy weekend in Salt Lake City.
Game one started rough for the Utes. Two no-out doubles put the Ducks on top early 1-0. With the bases loaded, Oregon had a one-out single scoring two more for the Ducks. A fake throw to second base with a back pickoff to third helped the Utes to get out of the inning.
An Oregon double put another run on the board for the Ducks. With two outs in the second, Rykker Tom made a diving stop to hold Oregon to a 4-0 lead.
Tanner Smith hit a rocket that snuck inside the foul pole to tack another run to the Ducks’ score. A walk and a bunt moved another runner into scoring position for Oregon. Utah didn’t allow any more across though as a great play by Matt Richardson ended the inning.
Oregon loaded the bases once again in the top of the sixth inning before a two out gapper scored three. The Ducks took a 8-0 lead into the bottom of the inning.
Chase Fernlund began things for the Utes after reaching on an error in the sixth. Two batters later, Tom doubled to the left field gap to put two Utes in scoring position. An Erick Migueles’ walk loaded the bases with one out, but a strikeout and fly out ended the inning before the Utes could get any runs across.
The Ducks continued their offensive firepower in the seventh as a one-out single brought home another run.
Utah’s chance to score eventually came with one out in the eighth. Oliver Dunn reached on an error, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Migueles then beat out a throw by the second baseman to score Utah’s first run of the game. After a single and walk load the bases, Shea Kramer hit a bloop single to right field manufacture two more runs for Utah. The Utes finished the inning down 3-9.
The Utes loaded the bases once again in the ninth. Fernlund singled to the right side to drive in the fourth run of the game for Utah. A groundout a few pitches later would end the game.
It was a tough night for the Utes overall as Oregon topped Utah in game one 4-9.
The series continued on Sunday where the weather was finally cooperative and sunny. A doubleheader was on tap for the day as the Utes and Ducks faced off once again.
Joshua Tedeschi started the game strong for the Utes, striking out four of the first six batters he faced.
The Ducks struck first in the third when Spencer Steer doubled with the bases loaded, bringing in two runs. The Utes were quick to answer. In the bottom half of the inning, Dunn hit a solo blast to right field to pull the Utes within one.
Migueles began a rally in the fourth inning, singling to center field. After Isaac Deveaux singled to right to move the runner over, Chandler Anderson bunted to move two runners into scoring position. Kramer hit a deep fly ball to center field which allowed Migueles to tag up and score. One batter later, Chris Rowan walked allowing Deveaux to put the Utes in the lead on the ball four past ball.
Oregon took the lead back in the top of the seventh when an overthrow allowed a runner to take second. After a bunt, and single two batters later, the Ducks tied the game at three. Oregon continued the hit parade with two singles that eventually scored one more.
Utah didn’t wait long to tie the game back up. Richardson hit the Utes second solo home run on the day batting lead-off in the bottom of the seventh.
A grand slam off the bat of Taylor Adams sealed the win for the Ducks in the top of the ninth. Oregon plated one more insurance run before the inning came to a close.
Briley Knight started a last stitch effort at a comeback with a single to right field. Dunn tripled off the left field wall to score Knight before trotting home himself on a wild pitch.
The Utes fought hard in the game two outing, but still fell short 6-9.
There was no slowing down from the last inning of the first game of the doubleheader for the Ducks. An early single followed by a double to center field chalked up the first run of the game. The next batter for Oregon tripled to plate another run for the Ducks.
In the top of the second, Steer singled and brought two Ducks home to increase Oregon’s lead to four. Utah was struggling to get anything going at this point in the game.
Thankfully, the bats began to come around in the seventh inning when the Utes loaded the bases with one out. After a fielder’s choice got Migueles out at the plate, Richardson doubled to right field, driving in three runs. The Utes found themselves behind 4-3 with two innings left to play.
Unfortunately for Utah baseball, Oregon was the only offense to get things going in the final innings. The Ducks scored two runs with the help of an error and a wild pitch to add insurance runs. The Utes went down one, two, three in the bottom of the ninth to finish the three game series.
Oregon beat Utah in game three, 6-3.
The Utes will take on in-state rival BYU Cougars on Tuesday, April 2 at Smith’s Ballpark. The Utes and Cougars will go toe-to-toe at 6 p.m. in another Deseret Duel meeting.