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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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Utah suffers offensive woes, falls to Washington State in weekend series

Utah suffers offensive woes, falls to Washington State in weekend series

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As the school year winds down for students, the season continues for the baseball team. The Utes played another conference series this weekend against Washington State but couldn’t keep up with the Cougars, dropping the series, 2-1.

With just a few series left in the season, the Utes continue to struggle offensively, and they were only able to muster up eight runs over the three games. Utah lost the first game, 10-3, but rebounded on Saturday to grab a win, 4-1. But in the final game, the Utes went cold from the plate again, dropping the contest, 6-1.

“Just slow bats,” said sophomore Dallas Carroll. “We didn’t put enough hits on the board. We didn’t get those clutch hits when we needed them. I guess they did.”

Utah continued its opening-night losing streak as junior Nolan Stouder struggled to keep the Cougars off the board during his 4 1/3 innings on the mound. He allowed eight runs on seven hits while getting two strikeouts, dropping his overall record to 0-3 on the year.

Sophomore Hunter Rodriguez pitched 1 1/3 innings after Stouder before giving way to freshman Trenton Stoltz, who pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Sophomore Dustin Hughes also grabbed some time on the mound to finish things off.

Utah’s offensive struggles were evident in this game, as the team could only manage eight hits on the day. The Utes were led by Wade Gulden and Josh Rose, who, with two hits each, were responsible for all of the team’s runs.

In an attempt to rebound, the Ute pitchers decided to take matters into their own hands in Saturday’s game. A dominant pitching effort from junior Dalton Carroll kept Washington State in check throughout the contest, and Carroll pitched eight innings before giving way to senior Brock Duke to grab the save.

Carroll allowed one run on six hits, racking up eight strikeouts. With the win, he moves to 5-5 on the year, while Duke’s save was his fourth on the season — tops on the team.

The final game of the series was another offensive struggle for the Utes, as they had trouble getting on base. The day ended with Utah reaching a tally of just five hits.

“We weren’t as aggressive as we wanted to be,” said junior AJ Young. “Guys throwing a lot of fastballs, but they weren’t really good fastballs to hit. The majority of the fastballs were down with a little sink, so it’s kind of tough to swing at those knowing that you’re not going to have that much success on the pitch.”

Freshman Jayson Rose was not at his best but was solid during his time on the mound, pitching 5 2/3 innings while only allowing one run. Usually riddled with strikeouts, the freshman finished with just one but gave up seven hits.

Junior Bret Helton came in to replace him but didn’t fare much better. Helton was only on the mound for a third of an inning after giving up two runs on two hits. Freshman Tanner Thomas would replace him, and after pitching 1 2/3 innings, he gave way to Duke.

Despite its inability to produce runs, the Utah offense looked good in the final game of the series, making connections with the ball. But it seemed every time a Utah player got a hold of one, a Cougar was there to make the play.

Utah was shut out until the ninth inning when Young was able to drive fellow junior Cody Scaggari home with a single. Dallas Carroll went 2-for-4 at the plate, while Scaggari and Gulden registered a lone hit each.

The loss drops Utah to 14-25 on the season, and the team knows it must focus on preparing for its next game rather than dwell on this series.

“We’re going to start [preparing] tomorrow,” Dalton Carroll said.

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@ISmithAtTheU

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