baseball

MESA, Ariz. — BYU baseball claimed its season opening series with a decisive 11-2 victory against Northwestern in game two of a Saturday doubleheader at Sloan Park.

The Cougars improved to 2-1 on the year after winning Friday’s game against the Wildcats, 4-3, and losing a close contest in Saturday’s first game by a 3-2 score.

“I’m extremely happy with the effort we showed today,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “Our hitters showed great resiliency and our pitchers pounded the zone all day. Brock (Hale)’s home run in game two was huge because it allowed the rest of the team to relax and settle in.”

The BYU offense came alive Saturday’s evening game, leading to an early 5-0 lead before adding more six runs in the fourth inning to ultimately take an 11-2 victory.

In game one, the Cougars held Northwestern to one inning of three runs, but the comeback fell short in a 3-2 loss.

BYU will move over to Tempe to play Cal on at 11 a.m. Monday. The game can be seen live on BYU baseball’s Facebook page with audio on BYU Radio and ESPN 960 and a link to live stats on the BYU baseball schedule page.

— BYU Athletics

UVU wrestling loses regular season finale at Air Force on Saturday

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Both teams split the contest at five bouts apiece but bonus points proved to be the difference in Utah Valley University’s 25-17 setback to Air Force in Big 12 action on Saturday night at Clune Arena. The contest marked the final dual meet of the 2018-19 season for the Wolverines.

The Falcons (6-6, 2-5 Big 12) managed to earn bonus-point victories in all five of their wins on the night, while UVU (10-14, 1-8 Big 12) mustered bonus points in just one of its five victories.

Tenth-ranked Demetrius Romero (165), No. 12 Kimball Bastian (174), No. 27 Will Sumner (184), No. 14 Tanner Orndorff (197) and No. 17 Tate Orndorff (285) all recorded wins on the night for the Wolverines.

After recording their 10th victory of the season with a 22-17 win over Northern Colorado on Friday night, the Wolverines reached the 10-win plateau for the first time since the 2009-10 season when the team went 10-3 that season. The 2018-19 Wolverines also spent a total of 10 weeks nationally ranked in the NWCA Top 25 Coaches Poll this season as well as their highest ranking in program history by spending a week at No. 21.

Utah Valley will now prepare for the 2019 Big 12 Championships that will be contested March 9-10 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There, UVU will try to qualify as many of its grapplers for the NCAA Championships that will cap the 2018-19 season on March 21-23 in Pittsburgh. A season ago, UVU sent a program-high five wrestlers to the 2018 NCAA Championships in Cleveland.

— UVU Athletics

UVU softball held off by Miami (Ohio) Sunday at Rebel Classic in Nevada

HENDERSON, Nev. — Utah Valley University fell to Miami University (Ohio), 5-2, in the final game of the Boyd Gaming Rebel Classic on Sunday at the Stephanie Lynn Craig Complex.

Abby Doughty hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh as the Wolverines (3-7) attempted to rally in their final at-bat. Skylar Cook went 2-for-2 and reached base three times, scored a run and also stole two bases for UVU.

The Wolverines had opportunities to score early but left the bases full in the first and left two in scoring position in the second. Utah Valley stranded nine runners on base in the game.

Brianna Pratt (3-2) pitched four scoreless innings for Miami and retired the last seven hitters she faced to earn the win. Courtney Vierstra came on in relief in the fifth and picked up the save for the Redhawks (6-4). Devyn Cretz (2-3) pitched into the sixth for UVU but took the loss.

The Wolverines will return to action in the Red Desert Classic in St. George on March 1-3.

— UVU Athletics

Wolverine men pick up victory Saturday versus UT Rio Grande Valley

EDINBURG, Texas — Utah Valley overcame a 10-point deficit to secure a critical 76-64 win on the road over UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday night at UTRGV Fieldhouse. With the win, the Wolverines move to 17-7 on the year, including 6-4 in WAC play. The win also pushes UVU into sole possession of third place in the conference. The Vaqueros fall to 15-13 on the year and 7-5 in conference play.

“This was a huge challenge for us on the road and I couldn’t be more proud of my guys,” said Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope. “We weren’t great to start this game and this is a huge win for us. We did a great job of taking care of the ball against the second-best team in the country in forcing turnovers and causing steals. They’ve been the hottest team in the WAC and my guys came and competed and they answer the bell like they do every night.”

Jake Toolson led four Wolverines in double figures with 17 points and five rebounds. Washington dropped 14 points, including a perfect 7-7 from the foul line, and a team-leading 4 assists off the bench. Ben Nakwaasah and Richard Harward chipped in 10 points apiece and Baylee Steele led the team with seven rebounds.

Utah Valley now returns home to host Chicago State on Thursday and Kansas City on Saturday. Both games are set to begin at 7 p.m.

— UVU Athletics

UVU baseball to play two Monday after rain delays Sunday games

FRESNO, Calif. — With rain and wet field conditions playing havoc in the Fresno area, Sunday’s doubleheader between Utah Valley and Fresno State has been postponed. The two teams will now attempt to play a doubleheader on Monday at Bob Bennett Stadium.

Monday’s doubleheader is now slated to begin at 11 a.m. MT and the nightcap of the twin bill will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

After getting rained out on Opening Day on Friday, the two teams were able to get a game in on Saturday. The Bulldogs managed to hold on late to pull out a 6-3 victory in the season opener.

Following the conclusion of Monday’s action, UVU will return home before heading to South Carolina next weekend for a three-game series with the South Carolina Gamecocks.

— UVU Athletics

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!