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UVU Roundup: Wolverine softball hits four home runs, gets doubleheader sweep

By Jared Lloyd daily Herald - | Apr 2, 2021

Devyn Cretz tossed a three-hit shutout in Game 2 of a Friday doubleheader as Utah Valley University swept California Baptist, 2-0 and 9-0, on the road on Friday afternoon.

Cretz and Katie Zuniga also combined to shut out the Lancers in the first game. Cretz got the win in both ends of the twin bill and pitched 10.2 scoreless innings on the day.

The Wolverines (14-16, 2-3) also hit four home runs in the second game, including three-run home runs from Rien Milliken — who was 3-for-4 — and Jaeden Barajas.

Linnah Rebolledo homered for the second straight game, getting UVU on the board with a two-run blast in the third. Siena Sandoval hit her fifth of the season in the sixth, Barajas’ long ball followed later that inning, and Milliken made it 9-0 with her homer in the seventh. All nine runs in the game came courtesy of the home run.

Cretz pitched the final 3.2 innings in relief in Game 1 before registering her third complete-game shutout in the night cap. She has now gone the distance in each of her last nine starts in the circle. Cretz has also been the winning pitcher in each of the last three games.

The Lancers (12-21-1, 2-3) had all three of their hits in the first two innings. Cretz retired 17 of the final 18 batters she faced, allowing only a leadoff walk in the sixth.

In game one, Rebolledo hit a first-inning home run with two outs and the Wolverines got an insurance run in the fifth when Milliken drove home Emery Nielson with a groundout to second.

Zuniga started and pitched the first 3.1 innings. She retired the first nine hitters she faced before running into some trouble in the fourth. The Lancers had two runners on with one out in the fourth, when Stacy May-Johnson went to Cretz. An error loaded the bases, but Cretz got the next hitter to pop out before a flyout to right ended the threat.

With the five home runs during the doubleheader, Utah Valley has now hit 28 as a team. The Wolverines will attempt a series sweep on Saturday with first pitch slated for noon PT/1 p.m. MT.

UVU baseball splits doubleheader

The Utah Valley University baseball team split a doubleheader against Grand Canyon, dropping the first game, 4-1, before taking a 4-3 win in Game 2 on Friday afternoon at UCCU Ballpark.

Junior right-hander Bobby Voortmeyer surrendered just one unearned run on four hits over 6.0 solid innings to earn the victory for UVU in the nightcap, while fellow junior Jaxson Otis came on and managed to preserve the lead and record a three-inning save. UVU (5-18, 3-8 WAC) will look to split the four-game conference series against the preseason WAC favorite Lopes (13-13-1, 8-3 WAC) on Saturday.

“It was great to get that win in game two. Grand Canyon is a really good team, but both Bobby and Jaxson did a great job on the mound for us,” head UVU coach Eric Madsen said. “They did a nice job of pitching out of trouble as well as limiting some things that have cost of in some previous games. I’m proud of the team for finding a way to win.”

GAME TWO

After Grand Canyon went ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning, Utah Valley’s Trey Newman hit a solo home run over the left field fence to tie the game up at 1-1 in the top of the third inning. In the same inning, Mitch Moralez reached on a fielder’s choice to second base. He then stole second and advanced to third base on a GCU throwing error. Marco then doubled to left field, sending Moralez across the plate to give the Wolverines a 2-1 lead. Kade Poulsen then belted a two-run homer to left field to extend UVU’s lead to a 4-1 advantage as the Wolverines scored three runs in the third inning.

With the Wolverines still holding to the 4-1 lead in the seventh, Grand Canyon managed to make things interesting after recording a trio of singles en route to a pair of runs to cut the UVU lead to 4-3. The reliever Otis and the UVU defense responded, however, with an inning-ending groundout to preserve the lead.

The Wolverine defense later turned a big 6-4-3 double play in the eighth and got a nice diving catch from Jake Plecas in center in the ninth to help UVU pull out the victory.

Voortmeyer picked up the win on the mound, going 6.0 innings to improve to 2-3 on the season. Voortmeyer faced 26 batters and gave up just four hits and one unearned run with four strikeouts. He didn’t allow an extra base hit. Otis then recorded his first save of the season in 3.0 innings of work. Otis allowed only two runs and four hits.

Garrett Broussard led the Wolverines with two hits, going 2-for-4 at the plate. Poulsen went 1-for-3 with the home run and a pair of RBIs. Alexander Marco went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. Newman and Poulsen both homered, while Kyle Coburn posted a 1-for-3 outing at the plate.

GAME ONE

The Wolverines were the first to get things going in Friday’s first game of the twin bill thanks to a second-inning solo homer from Jeff Arens. With one out and no runners aboard, Arens launched out his second round-tripper of the season to left center to give UVU an early 1-0 lead.

Nick Sims was solid on the mound in the first few innings for Utah Valley, as he allowed just one hit and only three baserunners to reach thru the first four innings. Aided by a couple of Wolverine errors in the fifth, the Lopes then answered with a pair of runs of runs to take a 2-1 lead. After a single and error, along with a throwing miscue put runners on the corners, GCU’s Tyler Wilson then doubled them both home with a two-run double to left center to give the Lopes their first lead of the game. Sims then responded for the Wolverines by limiting the damage from there to keep it a 2-1 score.

With two on and one out in the sixth, GCU’s Tayler Aguilar then lined a ball to right that got past a diving Marco for a two-run triple to extend the Lopes’ lead to 4-1. GCU would hold on to the lead from there to secure the 4-1 victory.

Moralez, Marco, and Arens each had a hit in game one. Sims worked five innings and allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits but was tagged with the loss to drop to 1-4 on the year. Preseason All-WAC honoree Pierson Ohl went the distance on the mound for GCU to improve to 3-1 on the year. Ohl struck out seven and gave up just one run on three hits on the afternoon.

ON DECK FOR UVU

The series will conclude on Saturday with a matinee beginning at noon. Following Saturday’s finale, UVU will cap its current five-game homestand with a midweek non-conference game against Washington State of the Pac-12 Conference at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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