Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Baseball Drops Pac-12 Home Opener, 16-0 to Sixth-Ranked UCLA

Joe Pond started on the mound for the Utes.

Joe Pond started on the mound for the Utes.

March 30, 2012

Box Score

SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah baseball team dropped its Pac-12 home opener to sixth-ranked UCLA, 16-0, on Friday evening.

UCLA had 16 hits compared to five hits for the Utes. Utah was led at the plate by James Brooks and Parker Morin, each who had two hits.

UCLA took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning off base hits from Tyler Heineman and Trevor Brown, as Brown put down a bunt single to send across Heineman.

The Utes had several solid defensive plays early in the game, including diving outfield catches from Tyler Relf and Gavin Green, and a leaping stab from James Brooks on a liner at shortstop.

Utah had one of its best chances to score in the second inning, as Parker Morin led off the inning with a single and Green attempted a two-out rally with a base hit. Relf walked to load the bases but Ryan Cooperstone flied out to left field to end the inning.

UCLA pulled ahead with a four-run third and continued to pull away from there, scoring at least one run in each inning but the ninth, including a five-run eighth inning. Four Bruins had multiple hits, led Beau Amaral and Jeff Gelalich, who had three hits each. Pat Valaika drove in a team-high three runs.

"We knew when we got into this league that that is what we need to get to," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "That was pretty impressive by them, and we were unable to stop anything. I wouldn't say that we played terrible, but we couldn't get it stopped."

 

 

The Utes were stymied by UCLA starter Adam Plutko, who had six strikeouts, five walks and allowed four hits in his 6 2/3 innings pitched. Utah stranded two runners on base in the fifth and seventh innings, leaving a total of nine on for the game. Zack Ortiz pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit.

Ute starter Joe Pond pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing five earned runs off six hits with two strikeouts. He earned the loss to go to 2-4 on the year. Josh Chapman threw 3 1/3 innings, while Blake Golding struck out three and didn't allow a hit in his 1 1/3 innings. Luke West also pitched part of an inning.

"We're glad this one is over," Kinneberg said. "It's a new day tomorrow, it starts all over at a 0-0 game. We'll put this one behind us and go play and battle tomorrow."

The Utes and Bruins play game two of their three-game series on Saturday, March 31, at 1:00 p.m. MT.

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