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UVU/BYU roundup: Wolverine baseball ends season with win

By Staff | May 22, 2022

Courtesy UVU Marketing

The 2022 UVU baseball team poses for a photo after its final game against New Mexico State at UCCU Ballpark in Orem on Saturday, May 21, 2022.

Utah Valley University defeated New Mexico State University, 10-8, in the regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon at UCCU Ballpark in Orem, Utah.

Utah Valley (18-37, 10-20 WAC) used a balance offensive attack scoring multiple runs in the third, fifth, six and eighth innings to secure the win on Senior Day over New Mexico State (20-32, 10-20 WAC). Senior Drew Sims homered and finished with a 2-for-4 outing with two runs scored and two RBIs while also setting the new UVU school record for throwing out the most would-be base stealers over his career with 62, while fellow senior Mitch Moralez added another multiple-hit performance by going 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Fellow seniors Blake Zeleny and Bobby Voortmeyer also pitched well down the stretch for the Wolverines in the game.

“It was a great game. I think every senior had a chance to experience some success and we were able to score enough runs to get the win,” head UVU coach Eddie Smith said. “It was another great day from Mitch Moralez, and it was great to see Drew Sims have a couple of RBIs including the big fly. It was awesome.”

Mason Gray (3-5) picked up the victory after throwing 6.0 innings, allowing nine hits while adding five punchouts. Brendan Rodriguez (1-6) took the loss in relief for the Aggies.

The senior Zeleny went 2.0 innings in relief allowing just two hits, while fellow senior Voortmeyer pitched the ninth for the Wolverines and ended his collegiate career with a game-ending strikeout.

The senior Sims was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in the game, while fellow senior Moralez ended his UVU career with a 2-for-5 day. Coburn and Broussard both added two-run home runs on the day for UVU. Cutchen also tallied multiple hits by going 2-for-4 on the afternoon.

Utah Valley celebrated the careers of five seniors for their athletic and academic achievements throughout UVU careers after the game in Moralez, Sims, Voortmeyer, Zeleny, and left-handed pitcher Logan Petet.

“These seniors led this group. Those that stuck around and stayed for the transition, they really led this group of youngsters,” Smith added. “I shared this earlier with the team, but everybody wearing this uniform today won more games than any other year, won more conference games than any other year, they had a higher RPI than any other year, etc. It’s a stepping stone and I’m really proud of this senior class and what they have done for our program. They’ve all done unbelievable things for us all year long and I can’t say enough about these guys.”

The Wolverines’ 2022 season concluded on Saturday with an eight-win improvement from a year ago in head coach Eddie Smith’s first year at the helm of the Wolverines. UVU swept a two-game series at UNLV, won back-to-back conference series at Seattle and home against Dixie State, as well as a win over the 2022 WAC West Division champion and No. 25 Grand Canyon in late April.

BYU baseball falls to LMU

LMU defeated BYU 17-7 in the final game of a three-game WCC series on Saturday at Miller Park.

“It was a little rough today,” BYU interim head coach Trent Pratt said. “Credit to them, they swung the bats well. They had a lot of good swings and we didn’t get the bats going until later in the game. We’ll learn from this and be ready to make a run at the conference tournament next week.”

It turned out to be a staff day on the mound for the Cougars as nine pitchers took the hit with starter Ayden Callahan taking the loss.

Attendance for the Saturday afternoon game was 2,816, the eighth highest crowd in Miller Park history. Three of the four games this week enjoyed crowds over 2,780, including Tuesday’s game with Utah that drew Miller Park record of 3,192 fans.

BYU will face LMU again on Wednesday, May 25, in the opening round of the WCC Baseball Tournament (May 25-28) at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, California.

Former Cougar basketball star Elijah Bryant wins EuroLeague championship

Former BYU men’s basketball standout Elijah Bryant made history on Saturday as he helped his team Anadolu Efes win the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship with a 58-57 victory over Real Madrid in Belgrade, Serbia.

Bryant becomes the second player in history to win a NBA Championship and EuroLeague Championship in back-to-back seasons as he took home the Larry O’Brien trophy with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021. He also becomes the 11th player in history to win both titles in a career joining the likes of Manu Ginoboli and Toni Kukoc.

He helped Anadolu Efes claim their second consecutive EuroLeague title finishing with a team-high eight rebounds while helping hold Real Madrid to 18.2 percent from 3-point range. In their semifinal win over Olympiacos on Thursday, Bryant went 4-of-5 from 3-point range to finish with 16 points to go along with six rebounds.

Bryant played for the Cougars from 2015-18 earning All-WCC First Team honors as a junior after averaging 18.3 points per game, shooting 50.1 percent from the field, 42.6 percent from three and 84.6 percent from the free throw line.

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