A seven-run sixth inning propelled the hosting Utah Valley University Wolverines to a come from behind 11-9 victory over the visiting Sacramento State Hornets to take the first two games of the three-game Western Athletic Conference series.
The Wolverines’ Craig Brinkerhoff led off the decisive sixth inning rally with a single. Andy Perkins reached on a throwing error by Hornets’ shortstop Scotty Burcham, then Jordan Schlehuber’s double scored both men. After a Zac Fuller single and a Kade Andrus walk, Mark Kreuger’s two-run double brought the hosts within one with a score of 9-8.
Hornets’ pitcher Sam Long was removed from the inning, and the Wolverines were able to tack on two extra runs with Greyson Bogden’s RBI single and Spencer Gothberg’s fielder’s choice.
Utah Valley (12-20, 8-3 WAC) remained hot offensively in recording 15 hits for the second consecutive game in a contest which saw temperatures dip into the low 50’s. Fuller went 4-for-4 with an RBI to pace a Wolverines attack, which saw all nine starters record a hit and four starters record multi-hit games.
Sac State (18-15, 6-5 WAC) was led offensively by Kyle Moses (3-for-4) and Scotty Burcham (2-for-5, three RBIs).
“They had one huge inning,” said Sac State coach Reggie Christiansen. “I thought we responded well from the first game, [but] they just were able to put the ball in play and found some holes in our defense.”
It was Burcham’s three-run homer in the top of the fifth inning that gave the Hornets a 7-4 lead. Gunner Pollman added to the lead two batters later with a solo shot to left field. Chris Lewis’ sixth inning single to left field pushed the visitors to a 9-4 lead before the Wolverines were able to mount the comeback.
Snyder was the third of six Wolverines’ pitchers used and pitched 1 1/3 innings to earn the victory for Utah Valley.
Long took the loss for Sac State. The sophomore pitched five innings and was charged 10 runs with nine of them earned in his worst outing of the season.
Sac State recorded 12 hits and took a 1-0 lead with Pollman’s RBI single in the top of the second. Utah Valley was able to take the lead with a Gothberg two-run single and Atkinson’s RBI ground out.
The Hornets, who playing in their seventh consecutive road contest, dropped their fifth straight league contest after beginning conference with six straight wins.
The series concludes tomorrow at noon.