Feb. 18, 1998UNIVERSITY OF UTAH BASEBALL
Utah at Southern Utah
at Thunderbird Field, Cedar City, Utah
Fri., Feb. 20, 1998 at noon (DH)
Sat., Feb. 21, 1998 at noon (DH)
UTAH (6-6, 0-0 WAC)
Projected Starting Lineup
C Jared Larsen, 6-0, 185, R-R, Junior
1B John Summers, 6-0, 185, S-R, Junior
2B Chad Truby, 6-1, 185, R-R, Senior or
Zach Rappleye, 5-9, 165, R-R, Junior
SS Ryan Johnerson, 6-2, 185, R-R, Junior or
Chad Truby, 6-1, 185, R-R, Senior
3B Ben Marziale, 5-9, 175, R-R, Senior
LF Eric Wallace, 6-0, 215, R-R, Junior
CF Sam Swenson, 6-0, 170, R-R, Sophomore
RF Mike Wood, 6-4, 220, R-R, Junior
DH Jed Chrisman, 6-4, 210, R-R, Freshman or
Projected Pitching Rotation
Game 1 Brandon Page, RHP, 6-4, 200, Sophomore
Game 2 Ray Clinton, RHP, 6-2, 185, Senior
Game 3 Brett McDermaid, RHP, 6-1, 200, Junior
Game 4 Lance Erickse, RHP, 6-2, 195, Junior
UTES TRAVEL SOUTH: The University of Utah men's baseball team travels south to Cedar City, Utah for a three game series with Southern Utah. The Utes and T-Birds will face off with on Fri., Feb. 20 at noon, Sat., Feb. 21 at noon. There will be double-headers on both days and all games will be seven-inning contests. Due to field conditions at Thunderbird Field the site of the series has not yet been confirmed. Please call the sports information office for an update regarding the location of the games. Southern Utah opened the season on the road, before hosting Brigham Young on Tuesday. The T-Birds split a double header with the Cougars winning the first game 13-9 and dropping the final contest 7-6. Southern Utah is directed by first-year head coach DeLynn Corry who has guided the T-Birds to a 3-4 record this season.
UTES SPLIT WITH MESA: The Utes split a four-game series with Mesa State University in Grand Junction, Colo. Over the holiday weekend. Utah won the first single-nine inning game with RAY CLINTON (1-1) picking up his first win in `98, 9-7. The Ute sluggers offered up two home runs (NATE FORBUSH and BEN MARZIALE), one triple (SAM SWENSON) and three triples (JARED LARSEN 2, SWENSON). Utah fell in the first game of a double header on Sunday, junior hurler LANCE ERICKSEN (0-1) was tagged with the lost. The Utes bounced back in the night cap posting a 14-4 win over the Mavericks. The Utes 14-run output was the highest of the season. JC transfer JOHN SUMMERS hit two-home runs and left-hander BRAD SEARE (2-1) picked up the win in relief. The Utes dropped the final game of the series 9-6.
INJURIES HIT EARLY: Utah has suffered major injuries to key players early in the `98 campaign. The Utes have already lost two starters to season ending injuries: MIKE GOFF(broken arm); and MATT MATEJECK (right knee). Team captain and pre-season all-WAC catcher NATE FORBUSH suffered torn ligaments in his wrist and is expected to be sidelined a minimum of 3-4 weeks. Senior pitcher RICK CLAGETT strained his right arm in the third inning against Mesa State and utility player RYAN HILTS re-injured a groin pull in Grand junction. Both Clagett and Hilits are expected to be inactive for one week.
TREMENDOUS TRUBY: Senior infielder CHAD TRUBY has the hot hand for the Utes during the early part of the season. Truby leads the Utes in batting average at .455 and is second on the team in hits with 20. He will continue to rotate in the middle between second and first base.
PLEASANT SEARE-PRISE: Ute senior BRAD SEARE has produced often and early on the mound for the Utes in `98. Seare, a left-handed hurler, is 2-1 on the mound with both wins coming in relief situations. Seare has a 6.14 ERA and will continue to make appearances from the bullpen.
UTE HEADLINERS: The Utes lost 12 letterman from the 1997 record setting squad and return only 2 position starters (NATE FORBUSH and CHAD TRUBY) and 11 underclass lettermen. As depleted as the batting lineup is, the Ute pitching corps is as deep as they ever have been. The Utes return seven letterman pitchers, but more importantly, return four starters and a primary closer. The following Utes are players to watch during the `98 campaign. Pitcher SEAN CAWLEY, pitcher RICK CLAGETT, pitcher RAY CLINTON, pitcher LANCE ERICKSEN, pitcher BRANDON PAGE, catcher NATE FORBUSH, catcher/first baseman JARED LARSEN, outfielder SAM SWENSON and second baseman CHAD TRUBY.
MAKING AN IMPACT: With the loss of key position players including: All-American centerfielder CASEY CHILD, third baseman CURTIS HALL, first baseman MICHAEL HEIDEMANN, and outfielders MATT EELES and DUSTY ATKINSON. There are obvious holes in the lineup, but not for long when these newcomers make their mark in the Ute lineup: outfielder JED CHRISMAN, infielder RYAN JOHNERSON, utility RYAN HILTS, pitcher BRETT McDERMAID, outfielders ERIC WALLACE and MIKE WOOD.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Utes open the 1998 season with a 26-game road trip. The Ute home opener is on Mar. 20th at Franklin Quest Field against the Air Force Academy.
UTE COACHING STAFF: The Utes are under the direction of second-year head coach TIM ESMAY (42-27-1, Arizona State `88). Esmay guided the Utes to a 36-21-1 record, setting a school record for wins, and the Utes first divisional title since 1965. Esmay played on Arizona State's College World Series Teams and also played at Scottsdale Community College (Ariz.). Esmay served as an assistant coach under one-year Ute head coach Bill Kinneberg. When Kinneberg left for an assistant job at his alma mater, Arizona, Esmay was called upon to fill the coaching void. Esmay did more than fill a void as he led the `97 squad to a banner year that is undoubtedly the best season is school history (see `97 IN REVIEW). Assisting Esmay in his efforts are assistants JOHN FLORES (Grand Canyon `94) and TODD DELNOCE (Arizona State `94). Flores returns for his second season as pitching coach and Delnoce, in his third season, assists in hitting and outfield instruction. New to the staff in `98 is volunteer assistant coach JOE GODRI.