Utah Baseball Leaves California Empty Handed


Kevin Cody

University of Utah redshirt junior Jayden Kiernan (26) in an NCAA baseball game vs. Washington State at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 10, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Abbey Thomas, Assistant Sports Editor


Over the weekend, Utah Baseball headed to Northern California to meet up with No. 9 (now No. 7) Stanford for a series of three games. Having just come off of a successful bout against Northern Colorado last Tuesday, the Utes geared up to continue their streak but were unfortunately met with a sweep of tough defeat at the hands of the Cardinal.

The first of the series, held on Saturday in Stanford’s Sunken Diamond stadium, saw some intense competition from both sides that had fans on the edge of their seat. While the match started slow for Utah, Stanford was quick to get on the board with three runs by the bottom of the second inning. Utah’s Landon Frei was able to pull through in the top of the third, booking a run after striking out in the first.

The teams hit something of a stalemate, until Ute Catcher Jayden Kiernan broke the silence and crossed home, bringing the score to 2-3. Stanford continued to stay quiet, and another inning passed before Ute Davis Cop smashed a homer, helping himself and Karson Bodily past home to one-up Stanford 4-3. Utah’s edge wouldn’t last very long, however, as the Cardinal’s Alberto Rios launched a homer of his own to tie it up at the bottom of the eighth.

The game remained neck and neck before Stanford nailed another homer to send another two men home, ending the game at 4-6. And unfortunately for Utah, this would be the closest they would come to a victory while away at Stanford.

Sunday’s game was a tough round for the Utes — the Card came out early with three runs by the end of the second inning, thanks to a number of singles to help secure some bases. Regrettably, no runs would be made on the Utah side until the top of the ninth inning, when Frei was finally able to cross home plate after Cop was counted out at second. 5-1, Stanford. 

The pair’s third and final game took place on Monday, and while the match did not turn up a preferable result for the Utes, it did deliver more action than the previous two days combined. The day started out in the same fashion as the others — Stanford stepped out early, scoring twice in the second inning to keep Utah at bay. The third inning passed by uneventfully, but the fourth seemingly unleashed every bit of energy the two teams had been holding in all weekend.

After Utah’s TJ Clarkson claimed a point at the top of the fourth, Bruer Webster entered at the bottom of the fifth, hitting a single and advancing all the way to home plate. Stanford grabbed another run after Tommy Troy walked to first, bringing the tally to 3-2 for the Cardinal.

During the sixth inning, Utah would get out in front of Stanford by more than one point for the first time all weekend. First, Kaden Carpenter advanced to third on a wild pitch, and after a single down the middle from Webster, Carpenter and Matt Flaharty followed through with a run each to bring it to 3-5. 

Disappointingly for Utah, their particular streak of luck would end at the bottom of the sixth. The Card’s Drew Bowser advanced to third off a single from Rios, when Jake Sapien sent a homer, pushing all three through to home plate. Before long, Troy stole second base and was followed by Carter Graham, with both scoring after a handful of singles from their teammates. The sixth inning rounded out at 10-5, but the Cardinal were not quite finished.

The seventh inning saw Stanford claim three more runs, with Utah remaining stagnant, unable to get past third base. The top of the eighth got a few more runs from Utah, with Dakota Duffalo taking advantage of a shortstop error to score after advancing to third. Frei claimed another run after Kiernan grounded out to third, bringing the Utes within five of the Card, 13-8.

Having claimed eight runs, scoring on the Utes side proved to be finished for the night. Stanford secured another three runs in the bottom of the eighth, ending the match with double that of Utah at 16-8. Stanford’s successful weekend pushed them up to the seventh spot in the Pac-12, while the Utes remain tied in tenth place with Cal Berkeley.

Following a grueling weekend away in California, the Utes returned home Monday for a week of rest until the team welcomes USC at Smith’s Ballpark this Friday. 


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