Jay Brossman and the Utes dropped a tough, 5-4 decision in the season-opener at Santa Clara Friday.
Feb. 4, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The University of Utah baseball team was victimized by a pair of unearned runs in its season-opener Friday afternoon. The Utes dropped a 5-4 decision to Santa Clara University at Buck Shaw Stadium.
"We played pretty well," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "Overall, I was pleased with the effort. We put ourselves in position to win. We just didn't get it done."
Utah trailed 3-2, heading into the seventh inning. Junior catcher Adam Frank led off the inning with a double to left-center field. Frank moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore outfielder John Welsh. Frank scored to tie the game at 3-3 on a sacrifice fly from junior outfielder Seth Tartler.
A costly Utah error took place in the Santa Clara half of the seventh. Michael Thompson led off with a single for the Broncos. He moved to third on a throwing error by Utah senior first baseman Clayne Garrett. One batter later, Robert Perry drove home the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly, giving Santa Clara a 4-3 advantage.
The Utes tied the contest once again in the top of the eighth. Garrett led off with a walk and advanced to third on a single from senior second baseman Doug Beck. Garrett scored when junior outfielder Joe Mozeleski singled through the left side, knotting the contest at 4-4.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Broncos' Kris Watts led off with a double to left-center. He advanced to third on a sacrifice and then scored an unearned run, when Utah shortstop Ryan Khoury's throw home on a ground ball was just off the mark. Ute relief pitcher Brian Lane limited the damage to just the one run, leaving his team down 5-4 going into the ninth.
"We had a chance to score at the end," Kinneberg said. "We just didn't quite get it done with two outs."
Santa Clara had an early 1-0 lead. But senior designated hitter Trevor Eastman and Frank each drove in a run in the top of the second to give Utah a 2-1 advantage. The Broncos touched Utah junior starter Jason Price for a pair of runs in the bottom of the fith to regain the lead, 3-2.
Mozeleski was 3-for-4 at the plate to lead a Utah attack which rapped out 11 hits. Tartler, Frank and Brossman were all 2-for-4 in the contest. Michael Thompson paced Santa Clara, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI.
Lane (0-1) was the hard-luck losing pitcher for Utah. He tossed 1.2 innings and allowed one unearned run. Price gave up three runs in five innings, while striking out two. Anthony Rea (1-0) pitched the final two innings for Santa Clara to take the victory. He struck allowed one run, but struck out four Utah batters.
Santa Clara improved to 2-2 with the victory. Game two of the three-game series is slated for Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. PST.