Utah beats BYU to avoid sweep

2012-04-18T00:20:00Z 2012-04-20T21:54:12Z Utah beats BYU to avoid sweepNeil K. Warner - Daily Herald Daily Herald
April 18, 2012 12:20 am  • 

For the University of Utah, Tuesday's game against BYU had no baring on the Pac-12 standings, but beating BYU had a different kind of significance.

A win over BYU at anything, anytime is always sweet for the Utes, but especially when it means avoiding the broom.

Utah held off BYU 6-4 to win the final game of the three-game season series at Miller Field in front of 1,523 fans in Provo.

" We probably swung the bats the first five innings the best we have all year, which was really nice to see," said Utah coach Bill Kinneberg. "Two guys really got it going today. (Shaun) Cooper and (Tyler) Wagner, who was back to his old self with great sink and a great slider. Those two guys for me were the key guys for us."

Utah came into the game hitting just .238 as a team, but came up with 15 hits including a pair of home runs to get by the Cougars.

Cooper had two doubles and a home run and Parkin Morin went 3-for-5 with a solo homer in the ninth to put the game away.

Utah's bullpen didn't budge. Kelsey Kondo picked up the win by pitching 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Wagner pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to pick up the save.

"I think it was a combination, they swung the bats well and we didn't locate our pitches very well," said BYU assistant coach Wally Ritchie, who fielded post-game questions instead of head coach Vance Law. "We threw a lot of strikes. We only had one walk, but we need to do a better job hitting our spots."

Utah jumped on BYU starter Chris Capper for three runs in the first inning thanks in large part to a 2-run homer from Cooper.

The Utes added another run in the second and one more in the third to take a 5-1 lead.

Utah touched up Capper for five runs and 12 hits in five innings of work. Capper came into the with a 2.25 ERA and had given up 52 hits in 55 innings pitched.

BYU reliever Marc Oslund pitched the final four innings, allowing just one run to keep the Cougars close.

BYU cut the lead to 5-3 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third thanks to some help from Utah.

Wes Guenther singled to lead off the inning. Guenther went to second on a wild pitch. Brock Whitney then reached on an infield single. After Jaycob Brugman struck out, Guenther scored on a wild pitch. Alex Wolfe grounded out, which allowed Whitney to reach third and put him in position to score on another Utah wild pitch.

Dillon Robinson got BYU going in the sixth when he tripled to right with one out. Adam Law singled up the middle to cut the lead to 5-4, but they could get no closer despite having a pair of chances.

Guenter walked to lead off the seventh and was bunted over to second, but he was left stranded.

Robinson then doubled with two outs in the eighth, but he was also left on base as BYU's chances to rally evaporated.

Robinson and Guenther each had two of BYU's seven hits.

BYU (17-14) will now have a week off before it plays at Stanford. Utah (10-25) will open a series at Cal on Friday.

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