March 22, 1998
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH BASEBALL
CS-San Bernadino at UTAH
at Ute Field - Salt Lake City, Utah
Mon., Mar. 23, 1998 at 1p.m.
Southern Colorado at UTAH
at Ute Field - Salt Lake City, Utah
Thurs., Mar. 26, 1998 at 11 a.m.
Grand Canyon at UTAH
at Franklin Quest Field - Salt Lake City, Utah Fri., Mar. 27, 1998 at 2 p.m.
Sat., Mar . 28, 1998 - TBA
Sun., Mar. 29, 1998 at 1 p.m.
UTAH (9-20, 1-8 WAC)
Projected Starting Lineup
C Jared Larsen, 6-0, 185, R-R, Junior
1B John Summers, 6-0, 185, S-R, Junior
2B Ryan Hilts, 6-0, 185, R-R, Junior
Zach Rappleye, 5-9, 165, R-R, Junior
SS 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
Projected Pitching Rotation for Grand Canyon Series
Game 1 Rick Clagett, RHP, 6-4, 200, Senior
Game 2 Sean Cawley, LHP, 6-3, 185, Senior
Game 3 Lance Ericksen, RHP, 6-2, 195, Junior
UTES HOST FIVE AT HOME: The Utah baseball team plays two non-conference opponents this week at Ute Field located on the Utah campus. The Utes will host Cal State San Bernadino Mon., Mar. 23 at 1 p.m. in a single nine-inning contest. Southern Colorado will meet the Utes on Thurs., Mar. 26 at 11 a.m. in a single nine-inning game. The Utes return to Western Athletic Conference play at Franklin Quest Field in a three-game home stand against Grand Canyon University. The Utes will try and halt an 13 game losing streak. The Utes and `Lopes will face off Fri., Mar. 27 at 2 p.m., Sat., Mar 28 at 1 p.m., Sun., Mar. 29 at 1 p.m. in single nine-inning contests.
UTES FALL TO AIR FORCE: Utah dropped two to Air Force 8-7 and 9-8, but bounced back in the final game 7-2 behind the arm of Rick Clagett. Clagett pitched his second complete game of the season, allowed no extra base hits and did not issue a walk. The Utes dropped the opener 8-7 after leading most of the game. Junior pitcher Lance Ericksen dropped to 0-5 on the season. Utah improved to 1-8 in WAC play and 9-20 on the season.
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). NATE FORBUSH returned to the Ute lineup as a designated hitter against TCU after missing two weeks with a hand injury.
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: pitchers SEAN CAWLEY, RICK CLAGETT, RAY CLINTON, LANCE ERICKSEN and BRANDON PAGE; catchers NATE FORBUSH and JARED LARSEN; infielders CHAD TRUBY and BEN MARZIALE; and outfielder SAM SWENSON.
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: designated hitter/outfielder JED CHRISMAN, infielder RYAN JOHNERSON, utility RYAN HILTS, pitcher BRETT McDERMAID, outfielders ERIC WALLACE and MIKE WOOD.
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. 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.