Extra innings against Lobos no help for Utes

By Marco Villano, Staff Writer

OGDEN8212;The term “heartbreak” would be appropriate. Ditto for “pissed off.”

Any way you slice it, the Utes had a difficult weekend.

The Utah baseball team was one run away from pulling off a huge upset in all three games of its three-game series against the Lobos, but crumbled like a stale cookie in the extra innings.

Each and every time.

“Overall, we played pretty well,” said pitcher Jordan Whatcott. “The hitters had a great approach. Pitching-wise, I thought we did a good job of throwing strikes. We limited them to few runs in every game.”

The Utes’ starting pitchers proved they are the backbone of the struggling squad.

They were able to hold New Mexico8212;one of the premier offenses in the nation8212;under its 10-run-per-game average in all three contests, and held the Lobos to 31 hits for the weekend.

The broken record continued as the bullpen led to the demise of Utah late in the games, despite having some solid performances.

“Our bullpen did a nice job this weekend, I thought they played well,” Whatcott said.

In the first game of the series Thursday, starting pitcher Brian Budrow had been lights out for seven strong innings. He held the Lobos to a single run on three hits through seven innings and was given the run support by the offense, giving the Utes a 4-1 lead.

The Lobos’ offense awoke in the top of the eighth inning, scoring three runs and tying the game 4-4. Budrow was pulled as the damage was done and the Utes left three runners on base in the bottom of the ninth. Senior Greg Krause came in and picked up his second loss of the year in extras.

That was day one of three.

The Utes saw themselves up late again in Friday’s game against the Lobos. They took a 4-3 lead into the top of the ninth, but gave up two runs off a Max Willett double to left center. Utah tied the game 5-5 in the bottom of the inning, sending the game into extras yet again. New Mexico had found its hitting stroke in the ninth inning and carried it into the 10th, where it picked up two more runs, taking a 7-5 lead.

Austin Jones cut into the lead with a solo shot 7-6, but the Utes couldn’t catch the Lobos and left two runners stranded on base.

Saturday brought the biggest heartbreak because of the duel that went on between the starting pitchers.

Whatcott and New Mexico’s Rudy Jaramillo were dealing.

Both went six innings, Whatcott gave up six hits and two runs, and Jaramillo gave up five hits and two runs. But both would wind up getting no decisions as it was up to their respective bullpens to pick up the win.

Krause came in at the top of the ninth inning to get Joe Pond out of a jam, which he did without allowing any damage.

Utah didn’t do any damage in the bottom of the ninth, even with the top of the lineup at the plate, and the game went into extras at 3-3.

Krause gave up a solo shot against Brian Cavazos-Galvez, the first batter of the inning, which spelled ultimate doom for an impressive but unlucky performance.

“I think as a team, we played really good,” Krause said. “This whole series was good. We played hard and it just shows that we have a lot of heart.”

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Greg Harlow

Greg Krause gave up a solo home run in the top of the 10th inning that gave New Mexico a 4-3 win on Saturday. It was the third one run loss for Utah in the series with New Mexico.