Utes hope to ride momentum into doubleheader

After a big win against conference rival New Mexico on Saturday, the U baseball team will play host to Albertson College in a doubleheader Tuesday before resuming conference play in a three-game series against UNLV.

UNLV is tied for the lead in Mountain West Conference play with San Diego State, and in preparation for the Rebels this weekend, U baseball coach Tim Esmay plans to give everyone on the team some playing time Tuesday.

Esmay said the Utes entire pitching rotation will get to throw at Albertson College.

The move is similar to the one Esmay made last week in a doubleheader against Southern Utah before the three-game series against New Mexico. The Utes ended up splitting those games.

Against New Mexico, the Utes picked up just one win and lost two, but one of the losses came in extra innings.

This time, the team is looking to build on the 10-2 pounding of New Mexico on Saturday not only to prepare for UNLV, but also to take care of Albertson College in the meantime.

“Saturday’s win was big. We need to start riding the momentum…It’ll be a good test for us mid-week,” Esmay said.

At 8-19 overall on the season, the momentum talked about is based off a game that displayed nearly all of Utah’s strengths.

The offense produced 10 runs while starting pitcher Ben Buck gave up two runs, one of which was earned, with strong defensive play behind him all game.

In an attempt to maintain that, along with using every pitcher, Esmay anticipates more at-bats for players who haven’t had the chance to hit as much as others.

This is the first time Utah is playing Albertson College this season, but Esmay does have experience against the team from previous seasons.

“They’re very well-coached,” Esmay said. “I would imagine they’re in the same position we are,” being in between conference games.

Both games will be played at Ute Field, with the first starting at noon.

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