Corey Shimada was 3-for-4 against Gonzaga.
May 31, 2009
FULLERTON, Calif. - Led by a 5-for-5 performance by freshman Tyler Yagi, the Utah baseball team defeated Gonzaga in an elimination game of the NCAA Regional on Sunday afternoon, 9-7.
With the win, Utah turns around to play Cal State Fullerton in the regional title game tonight beginning at 6:10 p.m. (PT, 7:10 MT). The Utes would have to beat the Titans twice to win the regional.
Yagi, who tied his career-high for hits, led a Utes offense that has scored 20 runs and banged out 33 hits in their two elimination games since an opening night loss to Cal State Fullerton on Friday.
Leadoff hitter Corey Shimada finished 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and an RBI while three-hole hitter Nick Kuroczko was 2-for-5 with three RBI. C.J. Cron and Rick Cornu also finished with multiple hits on the day.
Bryn Card (6-2) earned the win on the mound for Utah, going seven innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits while striking out seven.
Cron's one out double in the fifth scored Yagi to snap a 4-4 tie and opened the floodgates for the Utes, who put up three runs in the sixth on an RBI single from Yagi and a two-run triple by Kuroczko to make it 8-4. An RBI single by Michael Beltran in the seventh inning gave Utah a five-run lead, 9-4, but Gonzaga would begin to chip away to close to within two runs in the late innings.
Anthony Synegal's RBI single in the seventh and a pair of runs in the eighth on a triple by Evan Wells and a sac fly by Drew Heid off reliever Greg Krause closed the gap, but the Bulldogs were unable to get any closer.
Krause got a fly ball to end the eighth and stranded the tying runs on base in the ninth to nail down the victory.
Wells finished 3-for-4 with two runs and a pair of RBI to pace Gonzaga. Ryan Carpenter (6-4) suffered the loss for the Bulldogs, allowing five runs on eight hits and also striking out seven in just 4 1/3 innings of work.
Cal State Fullerton's Jason Spencer contributed to this report.