Utah Baseball Comes Up Big This Week

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Kevin Cody

University of Utah redshirt sophomore Matthew Sox (35) 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 Writer

 

After a disappointing week for the University of Utah Baseball team (14-9-1), they came back more determined than ever. The team was on a four-game losing streak and was determined to snap the streak before it got out of hand. Fortunately for the Utes, all of their games this week were home games, giving them a significant advantage over their opponents

Both of the teams that they played this week, Northern Colorado and Mercer, have Bears as their mascot; Utah was on the Bear hunt this week.

The Utes opened up the week on Tuesday against Northern Colorado, the first of a two-game span. Fresh off of three losses at Oregon, Utah came out swinging. Northern Colorado started the scoring in the top of the second, scoring one of their only two runs.

Utah wasn’t going to see themselves suffer another loss, and quickly gained a comfortable lead in the bottom of the second. Utah tallied eight runs in the second inning, highlighted by a T.J. Clarkson grand slam, the first of his career.

Northern Colorado got another run in the top of the fourth, but Utah kept their foot on the gas. The sixth inning was another big one for the Utes, seeing them score six runs. Clarkson hit another homer to record two runs and six RBI.

Utah kept running up the score, and the game finished 18-2 for the Utes. It was Utah’s highest scoring game of the season, and their highest since defeating Arizona 21-10 on March 15, 2019.

The next game was a little closer as Northern Colorado jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first. Utah quickly tied it up by the bottom of the second and held a 7-6 lead at the end of the seventh.

Northern Colorado tied it up in the top of the ninth, but Utah wasn’t looking to let this game go into extra innings. A wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth saw Matt Richardson reach home plate to give the Utes a 8-7 win.

Heading into their series with Mercer, Utah was feeling more confident. That confidence showed, and the Utes gained a 4-1 lead by the bottom of the fifth. But Utah was unable to hold on, and Mercer hit a quick five to give Utah a 6-4 loss.

Utah came right back the next day and learned from their mistakes. It was a dominant game for Utah as every player in the batting order scored at least one run.

Utah started off the scoring with two in the first but failed to score in the second. Mercer took four in the second and third innings to gain a 4-2 lead. Utah rebounded fast, taking five of their own in the third.

Utah’s scoring continued and the team got a huge seven runs in the sixth inning, but Utah wasn’t done there. After failing to score in the seventh inning, they ensured themselves the win by tallying on an additional nine runs in the bottom of the eighth.

It was Utah’s first 25-run game since the 2010 season, and their first 26-hit game since 2008. Utah also showed the potential of this team as they downed Mercer 25-8.

Trying to finish the week strong, Utah headed into their last game with Mercer. Utah was able to hang close with them until a big fourth inning for the Bears saw them take six runs.

Utah was unable to come back from the fourth, with only Chase Anderson able to score for the rest of the game. Utah saw a disappointing 11-5 loss, but look to come back as they face Utah Valley University before a Pac-12 series at Washington State.

Utah’s last matchup with Utah Valley was postponed due to high wind in the area, but Utah looks to start the week strong before heading into more Pac-12 play.

 

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@SeanOverton3