Utah Baseball Sweep Washington State Cougars in Action Packed Weekend


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 March 11, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Abbey Thomas, Assistant Sports Editor


After a series of tough defeats last weekend against the University of Arizona, the Utes were in desperate need of a win in the Pac-12 conference. So when Washington State University came to town for a quick series, it was all hands on deck — and thankfully for Utah, they got what they were looking for. 

The first of the three games, taking place on Friday, saw some promising action early on for the Utes. In the first inning, Kai Roberts made it to third but failed to finish the run; however, in the bottom of the second, Cameron Gurney advanced to third himself after a single from Matt Flaharty. Gurney claimed the first run of the game for the Utes after an error from the shortstop, tying up the score at 1-1.

Next, the bottom of the fourth saw some big action from the Utes. Gurney sent out a single to the pitcher and proceeded to advance to second and third after Flaharty made it to first on an error. Bruer Webster was forced out at first, but not before Gurney secured another run. Flaharty claimed the third run of the night on another error from second base, bringing the score to 3-1.

At the top of the sixth, the Cougars tied it up again at 3-3; the game would stay quiet again until the bottom of the seventh, when TJ Clarkson and Jayden Kiernan launched back-to-back homers, jumping back ahead at 5-3. Washington State struggled to get past first base, and in the bottom of the eighth, Webster got the chance to redeem himself after sending a double down the line and advancing to third. A wild pitch saw Webster claim the sixth and final run of the night, securing Utah’s first win of the weekend at 6-3.

The second game of the series took place on Saturday, with almost double the runs of the previous day’s game. Once again, the first inning went by scoreless, while the second brought the beginning of the action. At the bottom of the second, Utah’s Dakota Duffalo and Flaharty claimed one run a piece after a single from Webster, taking the lead at 2-0. Coming into the third inning, the Cougars made the move to tie it up after a few singles of their own, before jumping up ahead of Utah in the fourth at 4-2.

Utah remained quiet until the bottom of the fifth when Clarkson sent a double down the line with Davis Cop on base. Gurney turned up to bat and nailed a single of his own, sending Clarkson and Cop home and tying it back up at 4-4. Karson Bodily sent a double down left center, sending Gurney over the plate to finish the inning at 5-4.

Needless to say, Washington State was not happy being taken over and after claiming another two runs to take the lead 6-5. The Cougars’ Jake Harvey nailed a homer to left field with bases loaded. Now sitting at 5-10, the Utes had a lot of catching up to do, but the team was up to the challenge. Landon Frei walked to base, before Cop sent a double and helped Frei back home. Clarkson paid it forward, launching another single and allowing Cop to finish the run.

The bottom of the seventh brought Utah two more runs, while Washington State couldn’t seem to muster any more power. In the eighth, Bodily took a hit from a pitch, allowing Gurney and Kiernan to advance to second and third base. Flaharty sent a single up the middle, while his two teammates crossed home plate and finished the runs for Utah at 12-10.

On Sunday, the third and final game got underway with Washington State up to bat. The Cougars nabbed two runs in the first inning, with Utah retaliating with three of their own from Roberts, Clarkson and Kiernan. By the bottom of the third, the score sat at 7-6, with Utah taking the lead after Clarkson, Kiernan and Cop claimed another run. 

Washington State tied it up at 7-7 in the top of the fourth, after a run from Sam Brown. During Utah’s half of the fourth, Flaharty, Webster and Roberts all walked, pushing Bodily home while the others all moved up on base. Frei claimed a run before Cop grounded out to second, helping Flaharty home as well. Utah wouldn’t hold the lead for very long, as the Cougars tied it up at 10 at the top of the fifth.

Desperate to secure a clean sweep, the Utes entered the bottom of the fifth ready to fight. Kiernan sent a homer down the line almost immediately, before Bodily doubled to left field. After Frei flied out, Flaharty stepped up and tripled to the center, while Bodily took the chance to finish the run. The Cougars only snatched one more run in the sixth, and the game went quiet through the end of the ninth inning as Utah booked a shutout for the weekend, finishing at 12-11.

The weekend’s three wins come well deserved after a tough couple of weekends at Arizona and Cal, particularly in light of the Pac-12 tournament coming at the end of the month. The Utes will head to Oregon State this weekend to play another series of three against the Beavers, before heading back home to play a single match against in-state rival BYU.


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