Utah Baseball Nearly Completes Five Game Sweep This Week


Kevin Cody

University of Utah redshirt sophomore Matthew Sox (35) and redshirt sophomore Jayden Kiernan (26) 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 | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Editor


University of Utah baseball (8-2-1) traveled to Las Vegas to face the UNLV Rebels to continue their 13-game road stretch. UNLV jumped out to an early lead, getting two men home in the bottom of the second. Utah quickly rebounded in the top of the third with four runs of their own.

Alex Baeza doubled to right field, getting Carter Booth home. Jayden Kiernan doubled immediately after to left center, scoring Chase Anderson and Baeza. TJ Clarkson struck a single to right center, scoring Clarkson as the Utes ended the inning with a 4-2 lead.

But Utah’s fielding folded under pressure in the bottom of the third, allowing the Rebels to take four of their own, and the Utes went down 4-6.

But Utah rallied, going on an 8-0 run from the fifth to the seventh inning. Clarkson was the highlight with a homer in the sixth that would score Kiernan as well. UNLV got three in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough for them as Utah took the game 12-9.

The team then traveled to CSU Bakersfield where they would play four games in three days, including a double header on Saturday.

Utah took the first game with relative ease, winning 4-2 on Friday. The game was tied up at 2-2 after the fifth inning, but Matt Richardson hit a homer that scored Clarkson as well and gave the Utes a 4-2 lead that would hold up the entire game.

Utah’s next matchup was the first game of the double header, a predetermined seven inning game. Utah got off to a hot start, going up 3-0 in the second inning. The lead doubled in the fourth inning, with Utah tallying three runs in the inning to go up 6-0.

Utah got another one in the sixth, but CSU Bakersfield took two of their own as they finally got on the board. Richardson finished the game in the seventh inning by stealing home as the Utes went on to win 8-2.

The next game of the day was much longer than the first, going into 11 innings and lasting over four hours. The game was incredibly close the entire time, with four ties and four lead changes.

Utah appeared to have taken the game when they went up 7-6 in the top of the ninth, but CSU Bakersfield came right back with a homer to tie it in the bottom of the ninth. Both teams failed to score in the 10th inning, but Utah got one in the 11th to take the win.

Richardson fought to earn a walk after being down 0-2 in the count. Landon Frei bounced the next one over the head of the third baseman, giving him a double and placing Richardson on third. Booth then stepped up to the plate and hit a fly ball down the center that got Richardson home as the Utes won 8-7.

But Utah couldn’t finish their sweep of the week as they lost to CSU Bakersfield in the final game. It was an uneventful 1-2 loss for the Utes, with Utah’s only scoring coming from a homer by Clarkson.

Utah will continue on the road as they play Fresno State for the second time this season on March 8 before coming home to start Pac-12 play against Washington over the weekend.


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