Utah Baseball Sweeps Northern Colorado in Three-game Series

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Kevin Cody

University of Utah graduate student Kyle Robeniol (No. 13) in a NCAA baseball game vs. Washington State at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Justin Prather, Sports Writer

 

The University of Utah baseball team stayed at home this weekend, albeit at a new venue, for a three-game series against the University of Northern Colorado Bears. The series kicked off on Saturday, May 8 and finished up on Monday. The Utes swept the Bears at Lindquist Field in Ogden, marking their first 3-0 series of the 2021 season.

Game 1

The series opener was a game of firsts for Utah. Pitcher Brayson Hurdsman got his first start at the mound of the season and pitched lights out for five innings, giving up a hit for two runs and racking up seven strikeouts for a 3.60 game ERA. Kai Roberts also hit his first career homer for the Utes in his first at bat to put the first two runs on the board. Starting in the first with two, Utah had only three scoreless innings to take the game 8-5, holding Colorado to just three hits.

Jaylon McLaughlin led the team at the plate going 3-5 with a run and an RBI. Jayden Kiernan, Matt Richardson and Roberts each had two hits. Notably, Justin Kelly came in on the mound and closed for Hurdsman. In four innings, Kelly gave up two hits, no earned runs, and retired nine Bear batters for a perfect triple zero ERA, recording his first save of the season along the way.

Game 2

Utah started the second game where they left off. Northern Colorado took a one-run lead in the first, but Utah had a three-run answer. McLaughlin led off with a single and found home on a single from Roberts. Christopher Rowan Jr. and Trey Clarkson followed up with singles and Clarkson recorded an RBI when Roberts rounded the bags. A double to left-center from Brock Rudy brought Rowan Jr. home and the score to 3-1 to end the first inning. 

Kyle Robeniol got the start on the mound and battled through a bases-loaded scare in the second to keep Utah in the lead, 3-2. Robeniol, who had six Ks on the night, shut out the Bears in the third and fourth, but allowed two runners on in the fifth that he would eat after being pulled in favor of pitcher Matthew Sox. The Bears tied it up 4-4 to end the fifth. Sox pitched through the eighth inning, allowing three runs on five hits, recording a season high seven strikeouts and bringing his overall ERA to 4.94. Zac McCleve closed out the ninth, allowing two hits, ending on a double play and taking the game 11-7 after a four-run eighth inning.

Game 3

Utah closed out Northern Colorado in the third game with a crushing 12-3 win. Utah was quiet in the first inning and had single runs in the second and third to tie up the score at 2-2. Starting from the rubber, Randon Hostert held the Bears in the top of the fourth to allow Utah’s go-ahead runs in the bottom off a single from Richardson to bring in two. McLaughlin added another RBI to go up 5-2 heading into the fifth, where Utah would repeat the effort to go up 8-2. 

Hostert allowed the last Northern Colorado run in the sixth before Dustyn Schramm was brought in to take over. Hostert recorded a season-high nine strikeouts and a 1.59 game ERA. McCleve was brought in to close in the ninth for his second appearance in the series. Utah answered the Bears’ single-run sixth inning with four of their own to go up 12-3 and kept the last two-and-a-half innings quiet to take the series 3-0, their first sweep of the 2021 season. Utah moves to 13-26 overall for the season.

Up Next

Next up for the Utes is a midweek game back at Smith’s Ballpark for the last time this season. Utah will host Utah Valley University for their second match-up of 2021 on Wednesday, May 12. Their last meeting ended with an all out rout of the Wolverines in a 14-1 win. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. MDT. 

 

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