Utah Baseball: Holds Sun Devils to Low Runs But Fall in Three Game Series

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Kyle Robeniol (13) throws a pitch as the Utes take on the BYU Cougars at Smith’s Ballpark May 8, 2018.(Photo by: Justin Prather | Daily Utah Chronicle).

By J. Prather

 

The University of Utah baseball team’s season woes continued in Phoenix this weekend where the Arizona State Sun Devils held them in a three game non-conference series. Utah’s season record moved to 1-8.

In the first game Utah got their bats rolling early. Center fielder Jaylon McLaughlin, 2-4 on the night, singled to lead off the third inning followed by a homer from first baseman Trey Clarkson (1-4) to put the Utes up 2-0. Justin Kelly started on the mound and pitched for six innings and some change, allowing seven hits and three earned runs facing 28 batters. 

ASU answered in the fourth inning, scoring two to tie the score, repeating in the seventh to put them up 4-2. After a couple of walks in the eighth, McLaughlin stepped up and singled to score Vinny Zavolta. ASU put Ethan Long on the mound who walked one and then shut down Utah’s late-game rally. The game ended 4-3. 

On Saturday, Kyle Robeniol started on the mound for Utah and got three strikeouts over three innings pitched, allowing two runs off of three hits. Utah added one run in the seventh to put the score at 1-3. They threatened Arizona State’s lead in the eighth with a walk and a single from Christopher Rowan, Jr. but a line drive catch and two strikeouts ended the inning for Utah. The Sun Devils took the second game 4-1.

Arizona State began Sunday with a run in the first, adding another four in the fifth inning. Utah had two hits in the first, one in the second and another two in the eighth but did not manage to convert any into runs and Arizona State took the game 5-0.

Utah left eight runners stranded in Sunday’s game, totaling 30 runners left on base for a weekend series that saw only four runs from the Utes. If Utah does not address their lack of offensive efficiency and find a strategy to get more runners across home plate, 2021 is going to be a long season.

Utah will continue their non-conference schedule with a series against BYU next weekend. The series will start at Smith’s Ballpark on Thursday, March 11 at 3 p.m. MST and will continue the next day at the same time and location. The series will end on Saturday, March 13 at Larry Miller Field down in Provo. That game is set to begin at 3 p.m MST. 

 

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@JP_at_TheChrony