A cool, rainy night at Smith’s Ballpark set the scene for a rivalry matchup between the University of Utah baseball team and Brigham Young University.
Utah exploded offensively in the first inning. Oliver Dunn began the Utes’ night against BYU with a triple off the right-field wall. The second batter of the game for the Utes, Zack Moeller, doubled to right field, driving home Dunn for a 1-0 lead. Erick Migueles walked before a Rykker Tom single loaded the bases with no outs for the Utes. Shea Kramer then hit a ground ball past the outstretched glove of BYU’s second baseman to drive in two more runs for Utah. Chandler Anderson hit a double to right field, driving in Tom. BYU was finally able to get out of the inning with the Utes ahead 4-0 after the first.
In the top of the second inning, the Cougars were threatening with runners on first and third with one out. Dustyn Schramm struck out the next Cougar before Brian Hsu singled to drive in BYU’s first run of the game. A fly ball brought the inning to a close with Utah still leading 4-1.
Matt Richardson hit a leadoff double down the right field line to begin the second inning for Utah. After a sacrifice bunt from Dunn advanced Richardson to third, Migueles singled to drive in Richardson. Utah brought the second inning to a close, up 5-1.
The Cougars scored again in the fourth inning when Hobbs Nyberg had a pinch-hit single to notch the Cougars’ second run. An overthrow on a softly hit ball back to the pitcher scored two more runs for BYU, making the score 4-5.
BYU tied the game in the seventh inning off of a lined shot to left field.
The Utes loaded the bases easily in the bottom of the seventh and Deveaux reached base on an overthrown ball, which scored Moeller and gave the lead back to Utah.
A one-out sacrifice fly from BYU knotted the game once again in the top of the eighth. Moeller caught a runner stealing two pitches later to end the inning.
Richardson walked before Dunn singled to put runners on first and second with no outs early in the eighth. Later in the inning, Tom belted a two-out triple to right field, scoring Richardson and Dunn and putting the Utes on top 8-6.
After the game, Tom said, “I can’t describe the feeling of how it felt. It feels amazing to beat your rival and it wasn’t just me that did it.” Tom continued, “It was every guy out there and every guy on the bench. BYU is a great team and it takes a whole team to win a game like that.”
Looking forward to Oregon State this weekend, said Coach Bill Kinneberg, “We’re focused on doing the little things right. We’ve been making little mistakes and we need to fix those.” Kinneberg continued, “We’re playing one of the best teams in the country this weekend, and we can’t make those kinds of mistakes if we are going to be in those ballgames.”
Utah vs Oregon State
The U baseball team will travel to Corvallis, Oregon to take on the No. 6 Oregon State Beavers. Last season, the Utes won two of three against the Beavers in Salt Lake City. The matchup record since Utah joined the Pac-12 is 4-17-1 in favor of Oregon State.
Oregon State’s College World Series History
The Beavers are the defending national champions of the College World Series. Oregon State hosted the Corvallis Regional where they beat Northwestern State along with LSU twice to advance to the Super Regional. The Beavers topped the Minnesota Golden Gophers in two games to advance to Omaha for the College World Series. The North Carolina Tar Heels handed the Beavers their first loss in game one of the tournament. Oregon State found their way through the losers bracket beating Washington, North Carolina and Mississippi State twice to reach the College World Series final. After losing game one to the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Beavers battled back to take games two and three. They are currently ranked No. 6 and hope to repeat as national champions.
Oregon State’s Player’s to Watch
Adley Rutschman was named last season’s College World Series Most Outstanding Player. He was also named an All-American by six different organizations. Rutschman got the nod for the All-Pac-12 first team and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. He also was a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and the Johnny Bench Award. The junior is currently on the College Baseball Player of the Year watchlist.
Tyler Malone was named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team in 2018. He tied a College World Series record, blasting three home runs in eight games. Malone batted .278 with eight home runs and 32 RBI last season. The junior is from Roseville, California and will play mainly on the infield this season for the Beavers.
Bryce Fehmel is a right-handed pitcher from Agoura Hills, California. Fehmel was on the Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-America team. He was also on the All-Pac-12 First Team in 2018. Last season, Fehmel went 10-1 with a 3.19 ERA and struck out 64 batters in 113 innings pitched.
Oregon State’s Head Coach:
Pat Bailey was recently promoted to interim head coach when longtime Head Coach Pat Casey retired after leading the Beavers to their third national title. Bailey joined the Beavers in 2008 and was later promoted to assistant head coach in 2013. He helped Oregon State reach the College World Series on three separate occasions, coming away with one national championship. Previously, Bailey coached George Fox, a Division III school, to two national titles. Bailey has coached collegially for 23 seasons and won the American Baseball Coaches Association Ethics in Coaching Award in 2012.
Oregon State Fun Facts:
Oregon State has only had five head baseball coaches since 1937.
The Beavers Play at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field, which was built in 1907, making it older than Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field.
Utah 2019 Season Update
The Utes will come into the weekend with an 8-15 (1-8) record after their victory over BYU. After their win, the Utes snapped an eight-game losing streak.
Utah Players to Watch:
Matt Richardson had a great weekend against Oregon, manufacturing multiple runs for the Utes. Richardson chalked up four RBI on three hits and one home run. He was also fantastic defensively, starting all four games this past week and flashing the leather with fantastic plays in those starts.
Oliver Dunn was hot at the plate once again, chalking up eight hits, one home run, two RBI and four runs scored in the past week. Dunn has shown consistency through his career, starting in 127 of 129 games he’s played in.
Zac McCleve leads the team with a 1-0 record in eight away appearances on the season. McCleve has been dominant away from home, pitching a 2.84 ERA, giving up only 13 hits.
Utah Fun Fact:
Head Coach Bill Kinneberg has coached in college baseball for 24 years. He has been the head coach at Utah for 16 of those seasons.
This Weekend’s Schedule:
Next up for the Utes is a matchup against the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, Oregon. Utah will take on the Beavers on Friday at 6:35 p.m., Saturday at 2:35 p.m. and Sunday at 2:05 p.m. The games will be played at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field in Corvallis, Oregon and you can follow live stats at utahutes.com. The game will also be live streamed from the Oregon State Live Stream, which can be found on both Utah and Oregon State’s websites.