Hungry for more sweet Wolverine meat

By and

For the fifth time this year, the U baseball team will face off against its in-state rivals from down south. No, not those rivals, but the UVSC Wolverines.

The Utes host UVSC Tuesday afternoon for the non-conference showdown, and if they ever needed a win, it’s now. The team has dropped five of six (not including last Saturday’s make-up inning of a previously scheduled game), including three losses to New Mexico over the weekend.

“New Mexico is a good club, particularly in their park,” U head coach Bill Kinneberg said. “Give them a lot of credit for what they did this weekend. They played well.”

The Utes (20-18) suffered a 17-8 rout Saturday evening, but came close in the first and third games of the weekend series. Sunday’s loss was especially devastating, as Utah rallied to tie the game after falling behind early, only to lose by a run in the bottom of the ninth.

“Any time you lose like that, you’re going to be down, and rightfully so. We fought hard and came up short,” Kinneberg said. “Those are tough to take, and it’s part of the learning process. You’ve got to pick yourself back up.”

The Utes took the day off on Monday, as they typically do, and will now attempt to forget a trying weekend as they face the Wolverines (13-29) once again. They have had success against them so far this season, winning three of their first four meetings. Their one loss was a 5-4 setback in the finale of a four-game series, but in the previous victories, the Ute offense put on a show. In three games, Utah posted 41 runs. Jay Brossman registered 11 hits and drove in seven runs to pace the team.

“We swung the bats well against them. We’re going to have to do it (Tuesday),” Kinneberg said. “Each game is different, each inning is different, so we just have to adjust and make sure we have a good plan.”

Kinneberg said that though Tuesday’s ballgame is an out-of-conference tilt, it is a key matchup because of the team’s recent string of losses.

“We do have to regroup and we have to get back to our winning ways,” he said. “(Tuesday) is very important to us.”

The game is slated for 3 p.m. at Ute Field. Brandon Ast will take the hill for the Utes.

Lennie Mahler

Utah’s Jay Brossman rounds first base after knocking a double against Southern Utah.

Lennie Mahler

Ute catcher Adam Frank, right, gives pitcher Shad McCord a pep-talk during Utah’s win over UVSC earlier this month.