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Utah Baseball Wins Four of Five, Sets Sights on Next Homestand

The Utes will end the month with a long homestand, where the first contest will be a single-game bout against the Utah Tech Bison on Tuesday.
Kevin Cody
University of Utah’s Kai Roberts (27) bats vs. Washington State at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 10, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


University of Utah baseball (16-7, 5-4 Pac-12) had an eventful week, winning four of five games. The five contests were spread across two series: the first at home against the Northern Colorado Bears and the second a Pac-12 conference series at the California Golden Bears. 

Game One — Northern Colorado 

Utah’s first game of the busy week was far and away their most complete performance, as offense and defense collided en route to a dominant 20-6 mercy-rule victory over the UNC Bears. 

Utah’s victory marked a season high in runs, and the team’s first 20-run effort since April 2023, when the Utes walloped BYU, 29-14. 

Regarding their victory over Northern Colorado, all cylinders were firing, as the Utes belted an impressive 16 hits in six innings. The hit total matched the mark from the team’s game against Oregon State two days prior. 

Left fielder Karson Bodily was Utah’s clubhouse leader in hits and runs. Bodily went 3-3 on the day, smashing a triple and scoring a career-high four runs. 

Bodily’s effort wasn’t the only standout performance from the Utes’ impressive 20-run day. Senior Kai Roberts continued his impressive 2024 campaign, driving in five runs, while scoring two himself. Perhaps even more notable was Roberts’ base running, stealing three bases during the game. 

On the mound, Jackson Elder and Bransen Kuehl suppressed the Bears’ offense, entering the game in relief of starter Jaden Harris, who earned the win (3-0) despite giving up five runs in 2.2 innings. Elder pitched 2.1 innings in relief with two strikeouts and Kuehl finished the game pitching two innings with two strikeouts and one hit. 

Game Two — Northern Colorado 

Utah’s second game against Northern Colorado wasn’t as one-sided as the first. 

Perhaps making up for the short game the day prior, a winner wouldn’t be declared until the 12th inning. 

Northern Colorado led Utah until the sixth inning when a Bruer Webster single up the middle scored two runs, bringing in Bodily and Michael Davinni to tie the game up at 6-6. 

The game would enter the ninth inning without another score, still tied after Randon Hostert and Ernesto Lugo-Canchola pitched two innings of no-run ballMicah Ashman entered the game in relief of Hostert with two outs to go. 

Ashman wouldn’t let the Bears score another run, retiring his two batters faced in the ninth with a ground ball and a strikeout, ending the 10th with two more strikeouts and maintaining a scoreless stat sheet in the 11th and 12th innings despite multiple runners on base. 

In the bottom of the 12th, Utah’s offense would put itself in place to win the game after Roberts reached first on a fielding error. 

Drake Digiorno would be the game’s hero, smashing a one-out double into left field that scored Roberts from first, ending the game 7-6 in favor of the Utes. The walk-off RBI gave the Utes a series sweep over UNC and earned Ashman his first win of the season.  

Game Three — Cal

The Utes’ third game of the week saw a change of scenery, as, after one day of rest, Utah went from playing at Smith’s Ballpark to Stu Gordon Stadium in Berkeley.

Game one of the California series would see the Utes’ win streak continue, as an eighth-inning rally would seal the deal with Utah on top, 7-3

Things did not look good early, with the Utes down 0-3 with just one hit no runs through the first three innings of play. 

Innings four through nine looked much different. Utah scored seven runs unanswered to end the game victorious. TJ Clarkson would get the party started, hammering a solo home run — his third of the year. 

Clarkson’s fourth-inning homer run would be followed by more scoring in the fifth inning, as a Core Jackson single from the leadoff spot would move Webster to third and bring in catcher Hunter Antillon to make the score 2-3. The scoring wouldn’t stop there, as Roberts belted a sac fly to left field that would bring in Webster, the tying run. 

The Utes wouldn’t seal the deal until the eighth, scoring an additional four runs to leave the Golden Bears in the dust. Digiorno and Clarkson began the inning with two singles. Digiorno would score on a Tyler Quinn RBI groundout, while the latter crossed home off a groundout from Kaden Carpenter. Webster would put the game out of reach, mashing a triple that would score two more runs. 

On the mound, Utah won off a two-pitcher performance highlighted by seven superb innings from sophomore right-hander Merit Jones. Earning his first win of the season, Jones threw 85 pitches, struck out four and allowed three runs. Hostert pitched two scoreless innings to close the game. 

Game Four — Cal

The fourth game of the week was a slow day at the office, as Utah scored only one run, ending their win streak with a 1-3 loss to the Golden Bears. 

Bryson Van Sickle started on the bump for Utah and had a great seven-inning performance. The lefty allowed just one run on five hits, striking out three batters with 77 total pitches

The Utes’ lone run would come in the sixth when Utah catcher Antillon drove in Bodily on a bunt. The run tied the game at 1-1. 

Shortly after, Hostert, pitching in relief, gave up a two-run home run to the Golden Bears’ PJ Moutzouridis. The home run would seal the game, as Utah was unable to spur on their offense in the ninth. 

Despite the win-streak-crushing loss, Roberts advanced his streak of reaching base safely to 21 games. Moreover, Roberts also stole two bases against California, giving the senior a career 47 stolen bases, five away from tying the program record. 

Game Five — Cal

The Utes ended their week on a high note with a 6-5 victory to secure a series win against the Golden Bears. 

The highlight of Utah’s final game against California was undoubtedly the pair of home runs by Roberts and Digiorno

Digiorno had the Utes’ first big fly, blasting a solo shot to left field to put Utah on top 2-1. Digiorno also scored in the first inning, initially earning a walk and then being brought home on a Clarkson single. The run counted as unearned due to a California throwing error. 

Roberts’ home run, another solo shot, would come in the fifth inning, putting Utah up 4-2 after the team scored in the fourth inning off a Davinni single. 

Utah would control the game into the eighth inning, scoring two more runs in the top of the inning to make the score 6-2. In the bottom of the inning, California would have an offensive awakening scoring a quick two runs off a homerun given up by Utah reliever Harris. 

At this point, with zero outs recorded, Utah’s left-handed closer, Ashman entered the game and initially looked to be in a pickle. Ashman gave up three consecutive singles, loading the bases, before regaining command and earning a flyout and two strikeouts to end the inning. Ashman’s flyout would bring in one run from third, ending the eighth inning with a score of 6-5. 

The score would stick, as Ashman retired the Golden Bears’ ninth-inning batters in order. The strong two-inning effort earned Ashman his sixth save of the season. 

Looking Ahead

Utah is looking good with a 16-7 overall record entering the final week of March. The Utes will end the month with a long homestand, where the first contest will be a single-game bout against the Utah Tech Bison (7-17) on Tuesday, March 26. After taking on the Bison, Utah will face Stanford (9-11) in a three-game conference battle beginning on Thursday, March 28. 


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About the Contributors
Austin Eames, Sports Writer
Austin Eames began writing for the Daily Utah Chronicle as a junior. Now a senior at the U, he writes for the Sports desk. Originally from Mission Viejo, California, he loves the beach but was willing to trade it in for the gorgeous Utah mountains. He loves most if not all sports, especially Lakers basketball and Chargers football. In his free time, you can find him in the never-ending pursuit of improving his golf game.
Kevin Cody
Kevin Cody, Photographer
Although he was born in Texas, Kevin Cody quickly found his home in the mountains of the west. He is a storyteller at heart, focusing on experiencing the world through his camera. Kevin will graduate this fall with a communications degree with a minor in digital photography. This is Kevin's second undergraduate degree as he is an alumnus of Oklahoma State University, a 2013 graduate with a degree in natural resource ecology and management.

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