Nick Kuroczko hit a triple in the fourth inning, plating the game-winning RBI on Sunday.
May 11, 2008
USAFA, Colo. - A Nick Kuroczko triple in the fourth inning helped the University of Utah baseball team turn a one-run lead into a convincing 12-4 league victory over the Air Force Academy here this afternoon. It is the fifth straight win for Utah.
A 1-0 lead turned into a 3-1 cushion thanks to the first of two Jesse Shriner homers in the third inning. But, the Falcons rallied, trimming Utah's lead back to one with a pair of scores in the bottom of the third. Utah (21-24 overall, 9-12 Mountain West) built on its 3-2 lead in the fourth inning, getting everything it needed to win off of Kuroczko's one-out triple. It scored Fred Ferguson and Michael Beltran, and it extended Utah's lead out to 5-2. A Cody Guymon RBI single rounded out Utah's three-run fourth, and gave it the 6-2 lead. The Falcons answered with a single run in the bottom of the fourth
A six-spot in the seventh inning pushed Utah's lead out to 12-3. Four of the six Ute runs came off of the long ball. Shriner hit a one-out solo homer, his second of the day, and Cooper Blanc hit a one-out three-run shot to make it 10-3. RBI doubles from the bats of Ferguson and Kuroczko gave Utah the 12-3 cushion as it cruised to the 12-4 win.
John James got the start on the hill for Utah, but it was reliever Stephen Streich who tallied the win. James went 3.0 innings and he allowed three hits, three runs and two walks. James struck out four Falcon batters. But, Streich went 4.0 innings, and he allowed four hits and one earned run. He fanned two AFA batters. In all, Utah used four different pitchers.
Nathan Carter and Addison Gentry led the Falcons with a pair of hits today. Carter led the way with a pair of RBI, one of which came off of his double in the third inning. Matt Barattino took the loss on the mound for the Air Force Academy (16-32, 2-19).
Utah returns home for its last week of regular season play. The Utes host Southern Utah at Ute Field on Tuesday, and then they host BYU on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Franklin Covey Field. The winner of the Utah-BYU series will win the inaugural Desert First Dual trophy.