Nate Burnham broke out of a four-game hitting slump with three hits Friday night.
April 20, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah baseball team pounded out 18 hits Friday night, taking a 10-4 win over New Mexico at Franklin Covey Field. The victory moved the Utes to 18-20 overall and 7-4 in Mountain West Conference action.
Utah got three straight singles from center fielder Nate Burnham, second baseman Corey Shimada and first baseman Jay Brossman to grab a 1-0 lead in the first. New Mexico tied things up with a single tally in the third inning. But the Utes quickly regained the lead, when Shimada singled and later scored on a bunt single to make it 2-1.
New Mexico (17-23, 6-8 MWC) got to Utah starter Eric King in the top of the fourth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Lobo center fielder Matt Foote lined one just over the out-stretched glove of a diving John Welsh in right field. Foote ended up with a bases-clearing triple, giving New Mexico a 4-2 advantage.
The Lobo lead was short-lived. Utah got all three runs back in the bottom of the frame. Third baseman Erich Kemp led off with an opposite-field home run to right. After a walk to shortstop Mike Mitchell and a single off the bat of Burnham, Shimada singled in Mitchell. Burnham later scored on a groundout from Brossman to put the Utes back in front, 5-4.
Utah added to its advantage in the fifth. Welsh led off with a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Jesse Shriner. Kemp then walked and later scored on a Burnham base hit. The pair of runs put Utah up 7-4.
In the sixth, King gave way to the Ute bullpen, which shut out New Mexico the rest of the way. John James allowed one hit in two innings of work. Bennett Askew gave up a pair of hits in one inning and Brett Bruneel tossed a scoreless ninth. King picked up the win to move to 5-1 on the season, allowing four runs on nine hits in five innings of work.
New Mexico starter Stephen Smith (4-6) suffered the loss. He allowed eight runs in 5 1/3 innings of work.
Four different Ute hitters had three hits on the night - Burnham, Shimada, Hennis and Shriner. Shriner led the offensive production with three RBIs. Burnham and Shimada each scored a pair of runs, as did Kemp and Welsh. Foote was 2-for-4 with three RBIs to lead New Mexico at the plate.
Utah will look for the series sweep Sunday at Franklin Covey. First pitch is slated for 11:30 a.m.