Austin Jones had three RBI in today's win over NMSU.
March 12, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - The University of Utah baseball team held the New Mexico State Aggies at bay, tallying the 8-5 win here on the third day of the Johnny Quick Tournament.
The Utes (5-8 overall) raced out to an 8-0 lead, and the Aggies rallied in the eighth to score five runs. Robert Chimpky had to come out of the bullpen in the eighth frame to get the inning's last two outs. He records his first save of the season.
"Stephen Fife threw outstanding today," said head coach Bill Kinneberg. "He dominated. He just handcuffed New Mexico State. We had problems in the eighth, though. Stephen Streich and Bennett Askew came in and they put the ball up. Fortunately, Robert Chimpky came in and shut them down. He got us out of trouble.
"We did good things offensively. We swung the bat smarter today than we have in the past. We need to improve our execution, but we were battling at the plate today. Our kids did a great job making in-game adjustments at the plate, especially with two strikes against them."
Utah owned the 9-8 edge in hits, as Corey Shimada led the way with a 3-for-5 outing. However, it was the two-hit, three-RBI efforts of Jesse Shriner and Austin Jones that led the Utes. NMSU (6-5) belted out eight base knocks, but five of them came in the eighth-inning outburst.
A Jones homer got the scoring started in the second inning. He hit the first offering over the fence, scoring Dustin Hennis, who led the inning off with a walk.
Two more scores came in the fifth inning, racing Utah's lead up to 5-0. Cody Guymon led the inning off with a single, and advanced to second on a walk to Shriner. Then Jones plated another RBI, singling to score Guymon, and advancing Shriner to third. Jones would score when Cooper Blanc hit a deep fly ball to center field. His sacrifice fly scored Shriner, giving Utah the 5-0 lead.
Utah scored three more runs in the sixth, thanks to a two-RBI double by Shriner and sacrifice fly by Hennis. Shriner's double proved to be the difference-maker this afternoon, as it provided the game-winning run for Utah.
The eighth inning began with starter Stephen Fife taking a seat. He got the win in improving to 2-1 on the season. He tossed for seven innings, allowing only three hits and three walks. He fanned five opposing batters.
Utah needed three pitchers to retire NMSU in the eighth. A leadoff walk and a sacrifice put NMSU's first runner in scoring position. Marcus Quade hit the leadoff hitter home, making it 8-1. Four more NMSU runs came off of a pair of RBI single, an error, and a two-run homer by Tyler Hardt.
Fortunately, that's all NMSU had as its pitcher, Tyler Sturdevant took the loss.
Utah returns to the diamond tomorrow at 2 p.m. (PT) to battle Indiana in the fourth game of the Pepsi Johnny Quick Tournament.