University of Utah sophomore infielder Matt Richardson (4) gets ready to bat during an NCAA Baseball game at the Smith's Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

Utah vs Utah Valley

The University of Utah baseball team struggled to get the bats going against the Utah Valley Wolverines, losing 6-3 on a warm night in Orem, Utah.

Utah Valley jumped out to a first-inning 1-0 lead. Jayden Kiernan then doubled to left field, scoring Briley Knight and Chase Fernlund to help the Utes take the lead. After the Wolverines scored two in the sixth, Kiernan singled to the right in the seventh to drive in Zack Moeller. UVU brought three runs across in the eighth to shut the door on the Utes.

After the game, Head Coach Bill Kinneberg said, “I didn’t think we swung the bats well, and I think they outplayed us in all aspects of tonight’s game.” Kinneberg continued, “We’ve got to get back to playing our game and improving our intensity.”

Kiernan and Chandler Anderson led the Utes offensively, going 2-3 at the plate. Dustyn Schramm and Austin Moore went three innings each for the Utes combining for four strikeouts, giving up three runs on the night.

Utah vs No. 1 UCLA

The Utes will take on the first-ranked UCLA Bruins at Jackie Robinson Stadium this weekend in a Pac-12 South matchup. Utah is 4-20 (3-18) against UCLA in the history of the two schools meeting. Last season, the Utes were swept at Smith’s Ballpark by a combined score of 34-10. Utah’s last victory over UCLA was back in 2016 where the Utes won 9-4. UCLA is currently 31-7 (11-4) while the Utes are 12-22 (4-14).

UCLA College World Series History:

The Bruins have been a part of the College World Series final eight teams, five times in school history. UCLA’s last time in Omaha was in 2013, where they won the National Championship. Last year, the Bruins made the College World Series Tournament for the 22nd time in school history. They were eliminated in the Minneapolis Regional, losing to Minnesota after beating Gonzaga twice to reach the regional final.

UCLA Players to Watch:

Michael Toglia is known for being a great defender with an above-average arm for a first baseman. Out of high school, Toglia was the seventh-ranked player in the state of Washington by Perfect Game USA. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2016 but elected to play college baseball before going pro. Toglia was selected to the College Freshman All-American second team in 2017 while also getting a nod for All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention. Last season, Toglia earned All-Regional team honors at the Minneapolis Regional and was also the only player at UCLA to start all 59 games. Over the summer, Toglia participated in the Cape Cod league where he was the No. 9 position player prospect participating in the Cape. This season, Toglia leads the team in slugging percentage (.514), RBI (37), home runs (six) and total bases (74).

Chase Strumpf is known for having a great bat and outstanding power at the plate. Strumpf hit his first collegiate grand slam against the Utes in 2017. Last year, Strumpf was named an All-American second team by D1Baseball, Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game. He was also an All-Pac-12 selection and Dick Howser Award semifinalist. Strumpf also got All-Regional Team honors with Toglia in the Minneapolis Regional. This season, Strumpf leads the team in walks (26) and runs scored (32).

Ryan Garcia has a cut fastball that clocks in the high 80, low 90 mph range. He partners his fastball with a diving curveball that is in the high 60, low 70 mph range. In eight appearances this season, Garcia has thrown 40 innings with a 1.35 ERA. He has given up only 22 hits and 14 walks in his 2019 campaign. Garcia is currently the 12th-ranked prospect in the Pac-12 for the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft.

UCLA Head Coach:

John Savage has been the head baseball coach at UCLA for 15 seasons. Before becoming UCLA’s head man, Savage coached up the road at UC Irvine for three years. In his tenure as a Bruin, Savage has led his teams to 10 postseason appearances, with one national championship. Savage’s team is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation and is looking to make a push at not only the Pac-12 Championship, but also another national championship. Savage’s specialty is coaching pitchers and he has a reputation for having some of the best pitching staffs in college baseball. Known for his legendary recruiting skill, Savage has had 12 recruiting classes ranked in the top 16 nationally by Baseball America. Savage has also coached 33 players that have gone in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft. This includes Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, who went No. 1 and No. 3 respectively in the 2011 Draft.

UCLA Fun Fact:

Jackie Robinson was not only a star on the Bruins baseball team — he also lettered in football, basketball and track and field. Robinson later went on to break the MLB’s color barrier in 1947.

Utah 2019 Season Update:

The Utes are 12-22 (4-14) after going 1-2 against No. 12 Arizona State last weekend. Kinneberg got his 600th career victory as a head baseball coach in the conference win against ASU.

Utah Players to Watch:

Erick Migueles’ bat is one of the hottest in the Utah lineup. He is also coming off a two-home-run game against the Arizona State Sun Devils over the weekend. Last week, Migueles went 7-18 at the plate with three home runs and nine RBI. He was also great in the field, chalking up 15 putouts with one assist.

Shea Kramer has gotten a hit in 15 of the last 16 games while also getting an RBI in 10 of the last 14 games. Last week, Kramer was 4-18 at the plate with three RBI. Kramer was also solid defensively with 37 putouts and one assist in last weeks matchups.

Josh Tedeschi was lights out against the Sun Devils last weekend, going 7.1 innings with four strikeouts. In 55.2 innings pitched this season, Tedeschi has struck out 30 batters while only walking 16. Tedeschi is 6-4 on the season with a 5.50 ERA.

Utah Fun Fact:

Bill Kinneberg has coached the Utes in three different conferences since becoming the head man in 1996: from 1996-2005 in the Western Athletic Conference, 2005-2011 in the Mountain West Conference and from 2012-present in the Pacific-12 Conference.

This Weekend’s Schedule:

Utah and UCLA will go toe to toe in Los Angeles, California, beginning on Friday, April 26. The series’ first pitch will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, before continuing Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. All games will take place at Jackie Robinson Stadium, and you can follow along with live stats on utahutes.com.

b.ramsay@dailyutahchronicle.com

@brayden_ramsay

Brayden Ramsay is a Senior at the University of Utah writing for the sports desk. He previously worked for Snow College Athletics before leaving on a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to London, England. After transferring to the University of Utah, Brayden decided to major in Sports Journalism and hopes to one day work for a major sports network. This is Brayden's first year at the Chronicle.

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