Moore than enough

The U baseball team has gotten the best of UVSC this season. Except, that is, when Wolverine junior Marcus Moore has been on the hill.

For the second time in 11 days, Moore held the Utes down Tuesday night in Orem — keeping them to four runs in eight innings — as he picked up his third straight victory and his second over the team’s in-state foe.

He got plenty of run support in the winning cause as UVSC erased a first-inning deficit to cruise to a 10-4 victory. The weekend before last, Moore was even sharper, limiting the Ute bats to just three hits in a runaway 18-1 victory. This time around, the location was the same, the opposing pitcher was the same and the result was the same.

Moore (4-2) got off to a rough start as Utah jumped out on top off Dustin Hennis’ three-run homer, but Moore quickly settled down. Jay Brossman doubled and scored for the Utes in the third, but Moore was on cruise control from after that. He sent the heart of the Utes’ lineup down in order in the fifth and rarely got in much trouble from then on, tossing five straight shutout innings.

Scott Croshaw’s run-scoring double gave the Wolverines (15-23) the lead for good in the fourth and the Utes, who came in having won five of their last six, went curiously silent in the middle and late innings.

UVSC sophomore DH Josh Hinckley belted his second homer of the season — a three-run blast to left field in the seventh — and every starter in the Wolverines’ lineup registered a hit and crossed the plate at least once.

Not surprisingly, the secret to UVSC’s success may have been shutting down the top of the Utes’ lineup. Leadoff man Nate Burnham, who has been on fire of late, was unsuccessful in five plate appearances, and only got the ball out of the infield once — a fly-out to right in the top of the ninth, when all was effectively said and done.

Burnham’s off-night didn’t open up many opportunities for the big boppers in the Utah lineup. Second baseman Corey Shimada, hitting a team-best .343 this season with nine triples and 31 RBI out of the two-hole, delivered two base hits for the Utes, but never got to the plate with a runner on base.

Bret Baldwin and Jesse Shriner picked up three hits apiece for the Utes, but the offense as a whole couldn’t put together any consistency.

Of course, for the Utes (16-20), even the kind of late deficit they faced last night isn’t all that meaningful. They’ve made a habit of falling behind early but coming on late this season, having come from behind to win three games in walk-off fashion. Against UNLV earlier this month, the Utes faced a 9-0 deficit before rallying in the late innings to stun the Rebels at Franklin Covey Field.

Just this weekend, the Utes sealed a series victory over San Diego State as they erased the Aztecs’ 8-4 lead to win on a Shriner single in the ninth.

But there was no comeback in the cards for the Utes Tuesday night. Moore was locked in once again, scattering 11 hits and striking out five. Utah starter Lucas Trinnaman continued to struggle, going just three innings before being pulled after yielding four earned runs. Greg Krause picked up the loss, his first decision of the season.

Notes: Hennis seems to have settled into Utah’s cleanup spot. His first-inning homer was his sixth of the season and he now leads the club with 33 RBI?The Utes will be back at Franklin Covey Field starting Thursday, as they are set to host New Mexico for a three-game set.

Tyler Cobb

Utah’s Jay Brossman dives back to first to avoid a pickoff move by San Diego State Sunday at Franklin Covey Field. The Utes lost to UVSC in Orem Tuesday night, 10-4.