Baseball loses two of three to UT-San Antonio

Early inning jitters got the U baseball team into trouble over the weekend, as the Utes dropped two of three to UT-San Antonio and fell to 2-4 on the season.

In both Friday’s series opener and Sunday’s finale, the Roadrunners erupted for five runs early on to put the Utes in a hole, and both resulted in UTSA victories.

Sunday afternoon, Ute veteran starter Jason Price was tagged for five earned runs-thanks to a pair of hits, two walks and a hit batsman-and was replaced on the mound before registering a single out.

Tyler Kmetko’s RBI single in the top of the fourth tied the game at 5-5, but the Utes couldn’t hang on, as the Roadrunners added three more in the bottom half of the inning to take a three-run lead. That proved to be plenty as UTSA came away with a 9-6 victory, clinching the series win.

The Utes’ poor pitching Sunday was a stark contrast to Saturday’s performance, which featured the best effort the Ute staff has provided all season. Junior transfer Eric King pitched six strong innings, yielding just one unearned run as he and Rory James combined to hold the Roadrunners to just five hits in a 10-1 blowout.

All-conference junior Jay Brossman drove in three runs-including his first home run of the season-and John Welsh added three RBI as the Utah offense did more than enough to seal the victory.

Friday night, it was those bats that brought the Utes back from an early deficit, though in the end they didn’t have quite enough to pull off a comeback.

After falling behind 5-0 after four innings, the Utes slowly whittled away at the Roadrunners’ lead. Ryan Khoury got Utah on the board with an RBI groundout in the fifth and Joe Mozeleski doubled in a pair of runs in the sixth to cut the deficit to 5-3.

An inning later, freshman Corey Shimada led off with a single, stole second and came home two batters later on a Brossman single to pull the Utes to within a single run.

But the Utes stranded two runners in scoring position in the eighth before UTSA junior Noah Tritz got them to go down in order in the ninth, picking up his first save and preserving the win.

At this point last year, Utah was still winless in six tries, so their 2-4 record is an improvement, though a minor one. The Utes get a chance to reach the .500 mark next weekend when they head to California for a three-game swing with UC-Davis.

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