Corey Shimada was 4-for-4 with three RBIs Wednesday.
April 11, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah baseball team got off to a quick start and rolled to a 9-2 win over Southern Utah Wednesday afternoon at Ute Field.
Just three pitches into the game, Utah had a 1-0 lead, a home run and a triple. By the end of the first inning it was a 3-0 lead, including another solo home run. Ute center fielder Nate Burnham hammered SUU starter Derek Job's second pitch of the game over the left-field wall. One pitch later, second baseman Corey Shimada tripled off the base of the center-field wall.
Two batters later, Shimada scored on a Dustin Hennis ground ball. Utah right fielder John Welsh followed that with a solo dinger to left-center, giving Utah all the offense it would need in the first inning. The Utes went up 4-0 when Burnham led off the third inning with a second consecutive round-tripper over the left-field wall.
Utah starter Andrew Wilding (1-0) tossed two scoreless innings. Since it was predetermined the Utes would use three pitchers or more, Wilding was credited with the victory.
Southern Utah finally lit the scoreboard against Utah reliever John James in the top of the fourth. Thunderbird shortstop Jerahmie Libke laced double into right-center, scoring Derek Pena and Robbie Richards for SUU. That two-run double cut the Utah lead in half, 4-2.
Shimada and first baseman Jay Brossman upped Utah's lead to 5-2 in the fifth. Shimada's two-out double was followed by an RBI single off the bat of Brossman. The Utes added two more in the seventh, scoring a pair of unearned runs. Shimada poked an RBI single through the right side and Brossman lifted a sacrifice fly to left to increase the Utah lead to 7-2.
Shimada finished the game 4-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. He was a home run short of hitting for the cycle. Burnham was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs.
Utah ran five different pitchers to the mound. All five of them put runners on base. But four of them were able to work themselves out of all the trouble they created for themselves. The Ute hurlers issued seven walks, but struck out 10. They gave up nine hits, but seven were singles. Utah pitchers forced the Thunderbirds into stranding 12 runners throughout the course of the contest.
Job (0-7) took the loss for Southern Utah, allowing five earned runs in 6 1/3 innings of work. The Thunderbirds fell to 5-30 on the season.
Utah, now 14-18 on the season, will host San Diego State in a three-game Mountain West Conference series this weekend at Franklin Covey Field. First pitch for Friday's game is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday's and Sunday's games are scheduled for 1 p.m.