The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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False start

With a boatload of new players and a new coach, the U baseball team began its 2005 campaign the same way it started its 2004 season-with three straight losses.

Although Santa Clara swept the Utes with game scores of 5-4, 5-3 and 6-3, it’s not as if Utah was blown out in all three games-in fact game one could have gone either way.

The contest was tied at three heading into the bottom half of the seventh inning, when the Utes’ defense made some costly mistakes.

A throwing error by first baseman Clayne Garrett allowed Santa Clara to move a runner to third and the next Bronco batter, Robert Perry, hit a sacrifice fly to give the Broncos a one-run advantage.

The Utes came back to tie the game at four off a single from outfielder Joe Mozeleski, but another defensive mistake in the eighth inning cost the Utes the game.

With a man on third and one out, shortstop Ryan Khoury fielded a ground ball and threw it off the mark to home plate. Santa Clara scored the go-ahead run and went on to win game one.

With all the new pitching the Utes acquired over the off-season, the one familiar face, Jason Price, gave up three unearned runs in five innings of work in game one. Game two was much different and the Utes jumped out to an early 3-1 lead and seemed to be doing just fine until the sixth inning.

Starting pitcher Chad Cullers only gave up one run in three innings of work and reliever Bryce Freed was doing well until the sixth inning.

With one out and two runners on second and third, the Broncos’ third baseman, Michael Thompson hit a gapper in left center, scoring both men on to tie the game at three.

Following the big double, Kevin Drever did Thompson one better and hit a triple to score Thompson. Santa Clara got some insurance on a squeeze to give them a 5-3 lead, which they would never relinquish.

The Utes had a chance in the ninth inning to take the lead and win the game, but they couldn’t take advantage.

With the bases loaded and one out, Santa Clara brought in closer Thomas Van Buskirk, who shut the Utes down. He struck out the next two batters and ended the game, giving the Broncos the 5-3 victory in game two.

“We need to score runs when we have the opportunity,” Ute coach Bill Kinneberg said. “We didn’t get clusters of runs. We left too many guys on base and struck out too much. We played well again, just not quite enough to win.”

Unlike the first two games, the third and final game of the series was not even close. Ute senior starting pitcher Matt Crockett only lasted 2.1 innings, as he gave up three earned runs. The Broncos capitalized on an early error to score two runs and then followed it up in the third with three more runs.

Santa Clara was up 6-0 and the Utes were too far behind to comeback.

“We got behind early and never really got on track until the ninth,” Kinneberg said. “We didn’t have much of a chance until the end.”

Santa Clara pitcher Mike Stutes picked up with the win, as he only allowed one run in six innings of work.

The Utes will head out on the road against to face No. 21 TCU in a three-game series this weekend.

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