Utah Baseball Looks Towards Next Season

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Kevin Cody

University of Utah sophomore Kai Roberts (27) in a NCAA Baseball game vs. BYU at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, March 11, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Writer

 

After a hot start to the season for the University of Utah baseball team (26-27-1, 10-20 Pac-12), they never expected to fall below .500. The season started with the Utes winning eight of their first 10 games, one ending in a tie.

After such a dominant start under new head coach Gary Henderson, the team seemed on track to have one of their best seasons in recent history. But that sort of success was unsustainable, and soon the Utes started dropping more and more games. This included a nine-game losing streak stretching from April 30 to May 15.

Utah ended the season with a three-game series at California where they lost all three 1-13, 2-18 and 8-9 as they were eliminated from the Pac-12 playoffs.

Despite sitting near the top of the Pac-12 leaderboard for the majority of the season, they finished 10th, just ahead of USC.

Despite a losing record, the team made great improvements on the previous season. Utah baseball finished the 2021 season with a record of 17-33. They also went 7-23 in the Pac-12, only finishing above Washington.

Despite a disappointing end to the season, Utah fans can be optimistic for the future. The team showed great progress and improvement from last year. It was also Henderson’s first year as head coach of the program, and the team will only continue to improve under his guidance.

Utah will also be returning many players next year, including LHP/1B TJ Clarkson. Clarkson led the Utes in home runs with 11 and SLG% with .530. As a redshirt sophomore, Clarkson is expected to return to the team next season.

But Utah baseball also succeeded off the field as well, with spring’s athletics earning a 3.30 GPA, their 32nd semester in a row above 3.0.

Utah improved on their previous seasons, and showed that they still have a strong support to build off of. Although Utah didn’t have the finish to the season they hoped for, they still showed improvement under coach Henderson, and showed that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

 

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@SeanOverton3