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Go Utes!
Utah Baseball to Compete in Pac-12/Big 10 Challenge

Tanner Banks had nine strikeouts against Sacramento State on Utah's opening weekend.

Tanner Banks had nine strikeouts against Sacramento State on Utah's opening weekend.

Feb. 18, 2014

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SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah baseball team travels to Arizona this weekend to compete in the Pac-12/Big 10 Tournament Challenge. The Utes open the tournament against Michigan State at 4:00 p.m. MT on Friday, Feb. 21, and face 2013 College World Series participant Indiana on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 4:00 p.m. MT. Both games will be held in Surprise, Ariz., at Surprise Stadium. The Utes close out the tournament against Nebraska at 12:00 p.m. MT at Goodyear Stadium in Goodyear, Ariz.

"We are looking forward to being a part of this tournament," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "We have an opportunity to play three great teams at a great facility."

Utah went 2-2 during its opening weekend against Sacramento State. All four games were decided by one run.

"I think it's going to be like this most of the year - close ball games with pitching keeping us in it," Kinneberg said. "We don't have a real explosive offense yet. We got a feel for the game a little bit this weekend. We played a solid team in Sacramento State. We got some guys some playing time because of the absence of Braden Anderson, TJ Bennett and now Dallas Carroll, so that's a positive. But our pitching was really good for four games, and that's a real positive sign for us."

The Utes will start Mitch Watrous on the mound against Michigan State. Junior Tanner Banks and sophomore Dalton Carroll will start on Saturday and Sunday against Indiana and Nebraska, respectively.

Indiana went 1-3 during its opening weekend against Texas Tech and is currently ranked 10th in the Baseball America poll. Michigan State is 2-1, competing last weekend against Wright State after a change of plans due to weather. Nebraska hosted the Husker Classic, going 2-2 over four games, including a 15-7 loss to Oregon State.



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