Baseball begins 2-game series with SUU

The U baseball team (1-8) returns to the field today for game one of a two-game set with Southern Utah. The ace of the staff, sophomore southpaw Jason Price, will toe the rubber for the Utes against Justin Abbott of SUU.

Although Price has yet to win a game, he has looked sharp in his last few outings, especially his latest against No. 7 Tulane, when he allowed three unearned runs on six hits.

Tulane’s offense came into the game highly touted, but Price shut them down completely in the last six innings of a complete game.

If Price has the same stuff against SUU, it will be a long day for Thunderbird batters.

Abbott of SUU has a record of 2 1, but has an ERA of 6.60. In 15 innings of work, he has allowed 23 hits, 12 runs and five walks.

On Friday, the Utes will send struggling starter Doug Mackay to the mound against Chris Mower of SUU. Mackay brings an ERA of 13.89 to the mound and opponents are batting .404 against him.

He does, however, have 14 strikeouts in 11 innings of work. Mower’s ERA is a full 11 points lower than Mackay’s, but the disparity in opponent quality is largely in favor of Mackay.

The Utes close out the weekend with a Saturday game against Central Michigan. Freshman Eric Schaler will get the start for the Utes.

Schaler was drafted by the Yankees in the 48th round last year, but has yet to realize his potential on the college diamond, although he has only worked a total of seven innings.

In those seven innings, Schaler has allowed 12 runs, 12 hits and six walks. His ERA sits at 12.86.

CMU will start Jeff Opalewski and his 27.00 ERA on Saturday. Opalewski never made it to the third inning in his only start of the season, allowing seven runs on seven hits in the first two frames.

The Ute batters could use a break at the plate, having faced three of the best pitchers in college baseball last weekend against Tulane.

The Utes failed to score a run in three games against the formidable Green Wave staff, and as a result, no Ute regular can boast an average better than .286.

As a team, the Utes are currently batting a dismal .199, but that should be improved upon this weekend in their three games at Dixie High School against Division II opponents.

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