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Utah Baseball Swept by USC in Final Pac-12 Series

The Utes accumulated seven hits, two strikeouts and no errors in the last game of the series.
Mary Allen
University of Utah baseball team players in the dugout during a game versus University of Washington at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, April 19, 2024. (Photo by Mary Allen | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


Following a home victory against the Utah Tech Trailblazers, the University of Utah baseball team (32-21, 16-14 Pac-12) traveled west to take on the USC Trojans. It was the last series of the regular season and the last series of Utah and USC’s respective Pac-12 tenures.

Game 1

After a hitless first inning, the Trojans’ offense was quick to produce in the second inning. A misplayed ball in right field earned a quick double for USC. An error on a pickoff attempt advanced the runner to third. Then, a sacrifice-fly by Ethan Hedges earned the first run of the game.

USC’s defense quickly found their stride, earning nine straight outs without allowing a hit. The Trojans made a pitching change heading into the fifth inning, producing an excellent opportunity for the Utes to strike back.

The momentum quickly switched into Utah’s favor, as their offense exploded in fifth. Following developments, the Utes found themselves with runners at the corners with two outs. Then, a single by Core Jackson earned Utah’s first run of the game.

A double from Kai Roberts and an offline throw to home tacked on another two runs for the Utes. A wild pitch continued Utah’s scoring barrage, giving them a three-run lead over the Trojans.

USC manufactured a run in the sixth inning in an attempt to cut down the Utes’ lead. Later, in the eighth inning, the Trojan offense once again found its stride and re-tied the game at four runs. Then, back-to-back doubles for USC produced a two-run lead.

Two errors from the Trojan defense allowed the Utes to load the bases with no outs in the ninth. A sacrifice fly brought the Utes within one run, but they could not seal the deal. The Utes lost the game 5-6 with eight hits, two errors and five strikeouts.

Game 2

Utes pitcher Merit Jones started on the mound for the second game of the series. The Trojans opened up the scoring in the second inning, with an RBI single hit to the outfield. Down one run with runners on first and second, a strikeout stranded the two Ute runners in the third inning.

USC’s offense continued to produce in the bottom of the third, as they took advantage of multiple mistakes from the Utah defense. A botched double play and struggles with fielding gave the Trojans the opportunity to attack. Ultimately, USC came out of the inning tacking on two more runs to their lead.

The Trojan defense kept the Utes without a hit in the fourth, then continued to excel on offense. USC manufactured four runs with two outs, taking their lead to seven. Utah’s offense finally found their spark in the fifth inning, when Hunter Antillon hit a two-run double, but was thrown out trying to turn the hit into a triple.

A Utah pitching change failed to damper the Trojan offense, as USC went on to score another run in the fifth. Excellent defense continued to protect the Trojan lead as they ventured through the later innings of the game.

USC only allowed one hit in the final four innings, sealing their victory. The Utes lost the game 2-8, with five hits as opposed to the Trojans’ 12. Both teams contributed to a combined total of eight errors in the game.

Game 3

In the third game of the series, defense shined bright early. There were only two hits in the first two innings combined. Eventually, the Trojans saw offensive success in the third, as they opened up the scoring with a one-run home run to left field.

Later, with runners on first and second, an outfield double scored another run. The Utes’ relay prevented the second runner from scoring, earning the out at home plate. Then, the fifth consecutive hit from the Trojans scored the third run of the inning.

Three singles in the fifth inning quickly loaded the bases with no outs for the Trojans. After catching a pop-up in foul territory, the Utes walked a batter to score the fourth run of the game. A pitching change for Utah brought in right-hander Jackson Elder. The Trojans scored their fifth run on a sacrifice-fly and a fly-out ended the inning.

The Utes’ offense finally got rolling in the sixth inning, scoring their first run on a sacrifice-fly of their own. A single to left field by Antillon scored another run and cut the Trojan lead to three.

Kaden Carpenter hit his fifth home run of the season in the seventh inning, giving the Utes their third run of the game. Despite Utah’s best efforts to catch up to the Trojans’ lead, they ultimately fell short, not scoring for the rest of the game.

With the 5-3 victory for USC, the Trojans swept the Utes in the final regular season series of the year. The Utes accumulated six hits, two strikeouts and no errors in the last game of the series.

Up Next

The Utes will travel to Scottsdale, Arizona next week for the start of the Pac-12 tournament. The first game of the tournament is on Tuesday and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.


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About the Contributors
Jonah Marriott
Jonah Marriott, Sports Writer
(he/him) Jonah Marriott grew up in South Ogden, Utah, where he inherited his love for sports from his parents. He is a devout fan of each of Detroit’s major sports franchises, the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, and the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, with an emphasis in aerospace.
Mary Allen
Mary Allen, Design Director
(she/her) Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Mary is thrilled to be here at the University of Utah studying graphic design. She feels very lucky to get to rub shoulders with the talented people that make up the team here at the Chronicle and is learning a lot from them every day. Other than making things look cute, Mary’s passions include music, pickleball, Diet Coke, wildlife protection, and the Boston Red Sox.

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