Shaun Cooper went 3-for-5 against the Lobos, driving in two runs and scoring three.
April 16, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE - The Utah baseball team won a wild shootout against New Mexico on Saturday evening, 15-11. New Mexico cut a 10-0 Utah lead to one run, 12-11, before the Utes pulled back ahead in the final innings.
Utah took a 10-0 lead over the first four innings. In a five-run first inning, Trey Nielsen hit a rare inside-the-park grand slam to right field. C.J. Cron had an RBI double in the second, and the Utes scored four runs on five hits in the fourth inning. James Brooks, Michael Beltran and Shaun Cooper all had RBI hits in the fourth inning for the Utes.
New Mexico fought their way back into the game, beginning with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Lobos added two more in the bottom of the fifth on doubles from Kyle Stiner and DJ Peterson, continuing the drive with a bases-loaded ground out for a run in the sixth to put the score at 10-6.
RBI singles from Jo Jo Sharrar and Cody Guymon put two runs across the plate for the Utes in the top of the seventh before New Mexico put together a huge five-run inning in the bottom of the seventh. Peterson had an RBI double, Sam Wilson sent another run home on an RBI single and two runners scored on wild pitches. The Utes gambled by intentionally walking Mitch Garver to set up the double play, which was successful when Luke Campbell grounded out to second and Utah got out of the inning.
Utah got some insurance runs in the late innings, plating two in the eighth and one in the ninth. Cooper hit a two -out double in the eighth, followed by RBI singles from Guymon and Nielsen. Austin Shackelford walked in a run with the bases loaded in the ninth. Meanwhile, reliever Tyler Wagner put up zeros on the mound.
Utah used four pitchers. Starter Joe Pond went 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Luke West pitched 2/3 of an inning and picked up the win for his second of the season. Stephen Streich also threw one full inning. Wagner threw the final 2 2/3 innings.
"We grinded out a win today," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "Offensively, we were very good. We kept putting pressure on them with good at-bats. We let them back in the game, but we grinded it out and won a big one today."
Utah and New Mexico play the third game of the series on Sunday, April 17, at 1:00 p.m.