Baseball: Rose shines, Helton is key pitches and Utes not scared

Jayson Rose, a freshman from Alpine, Calif., started last Saturday’s game against Sacramento State and did not disappoint. Rose pitched six innings and allowed only one hit and no runs while he was on the mound. He accounted for four strikeouts, as well.

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“I think most of it was staying calm,” Rose said. “Getting through the first inning was probably most helpful for me. Getting through the first [inning] always helps me ease through the game and then it was just throwing strikes.”

Rose earned high praise from his coach, Bill Kinnerberg, as he said Rose played outstanding and is really excited to see the freshman progress through the season.

Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State will be Rose’s next opportunity to shine as the team travels to Arizona for the Pac-12/Big 12 challenge. Oklahoma is nationally ranked, sitting at No. 10.

 

Helton excited to be given the keys to pitch on Friday

The Friday pitcher for each team is usually the most experienced or best pitcher a team may have. For the Utes, the Friday pitcher is junior Bret Helton. He was the only pitcher to manage a win in last week’s four-game series against Sacramento State.

“Well, just being on Friday and being in charge of starting the first game of the year off right, I was real honored to do that and real happy about it,” Helton said. “We were all fired up on Friday and feeling good. We came out strong.”

Helton said he was nervous heading into the contest, but that it’s natural to feel that way, but once the game starts to progress, all the nerves go away. Helton will have his hands full on Thursday night as he will be the man on the mound when the Utes square off against Kansas State on Thursday night.

Last year, Helton made eight starts for Utah and 17 total appearances. He had a record of 2-4 with a 4.99 ERA, accumulating 35 strikeouts.

 

Level of competition doesn’t scare Utah

After facing the Hornets last weekend, the Utes will be facing opponents who play in bigger conferences and tougher games all year round this weekend at the Pac-12/Big 12 Challenge.

Before the team gets into Pac-12 play, Utah has some very notable non-conference games that they will have to play well in if they want a victory.

“I think we get more excited when we play the big named guys [teams],” Helton said. “We know we have to step up our game and we’ve got to play. We’ve got to be on point more than normal. So I don’t think the competition scares us at all. It should never scare us. I think we’re more excited than anything.”

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