Utah Baseball Closes Out Season With Loss Against Oregon Ducks


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 April 10, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Isaac Dunaway, Sports Writer


The 2023 University of Utah baseball team (22-32-1, 9-20-1 Pac-12) played their final series of the season this past weekend, hosting fellow Pac-12 competitor the Oregon Ducks. After winning the series opener on May 18, Utah fell to Oregon in the final two games of the series.

The Utes got off to an electric start in Thursday’s series opener. After three quick outs in the top of the first, Kai Roberts batted first for Utah and drew a walk before advancing to second on a wild pitch from Oregon. Davis Cop got on base via an error, the first of four errors from Oregon for the night. Jayden Kiernan singled after TJ Clarkson struck out to bring Roberts home. With Kaden Carpenter at the plate and runners at first and third, Utah then pulled off a double steal: Kiernan stole second and third while Cop stole home to give the Utes a quick 2-0 lead.

Oregon responded with five runs across the second and third innings, but it was all Utah from that point on. Clarkson and Kiernan hit back-to-back home runs to start the bottom of the third, cutting Oregon’s lead to 5-4. After Carpenter doubled to left center field, Landon Frei drove him in with a single to tie it up.

After a few scoreless innings, Utah pulled away in the seventh. Frei drew a walk with the bases loaded to put the Utes back in the lead. Matt Flaharty singled on the next at bat to score Elijha Hammill, bringing the lead to 7-5. By the time the inning came to an end, Utah had scored six runs, ending 11-5. The Utes kept the Ducks at bay and scored one more time in the eighth inning for good measure to pick up a 12-5 win.

Unfortunately, Friday and Saturday’s games did not go quite so smoothly. Oregon’s pitching and defense rebounded big time on Friday. Their offense was steady throughout the afternoon, helping the Ducks build a 7-0 lead throughout the game before the Utes got on the board in the bottom of the seventh when they scored their only run. After the first two batters were retired, Clarkson drew a walk. Kiernan followed up with a hit to the left-center field gap, enough to get to second and send Clarkson all the way around the bases. This cut the lead to 7-1. Oregon added two more runs and won the game 9-1.

Saturday afternoon’s game didn’t fair much better for the Utes. Oregon once again built up an early lead, scoring five runs in the first two innings. Utah got on the board in the bottom of the second. After Karson Bodily walked, he scored on a Carpenter hit to cut the lead to 5-1.

After the Ducks added another run in the third, Clarkson led off the fourth inning with a home run over the right field wall. This marks the outfielder’s 14th homer in what has been a fantastic junior season. Kiernan followed up with a double, but the Utes weren’t able to capitalize and Oregon kept the lead at 6-2. 

Oregon’s lead steadily grew from that point on. After unanswered runs from Oregon in the fifth and sixth, a six-run seventh inning sealed the deal, putting Oregon up 15-2. Utah picked up another run in the eighth when Roberts scored on a Cop hit, but that was it for the rest of the game. Oregon picked up another win 15-3 and won the series two games to one.

This wraps up the 2023 Utah baseball season. In an up-and-down season, the Utes finished with an overall record of 22-32-1 with a conference record of 9-20-1. 

Multiple Utes took Pac-12 Awards, with Micah Ashman and Kiernan getting all-conference. Zac McCleve and Clarkson were also awarded honorable mentions.


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