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Utah Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader at CSUB

Mar 5, 2022

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Utah baseball team continued its best start in more than 40 seasons (8-1-1) with a doubleheader sweep at CSU Bakersfield's Hardt Field on Saturday. The Utes picked up an 8-2 victory in game one, ahead of an 8-7 triumph in an 11-inning nightcap.
 
TJ Clarkson extended his hitting streak to four games, slotted at designated hitter in Game 1 and beginning Game 2 at first base. Dakota Duffalo (6), Kai Roberts (6) and Matt Richardson (5) extended their respective reached base streaks as well during the twinbill.
 
Head coach Gary Henderson's ballclub has now won four straight games, and will look for the sweep over the Roadrunners on Sunday, March 6 in a game beginning at 2:05 p.m. MT.
 
Game 1
Utah 8, CSU Bakersfield 2 (7 innings)
Utah tallied a run in the first inning and swelled the advantage to 3-0 in the second frame. Clarkson and Richardson led off the second with singles, then moved into scoring position when Landon Frei laid down a bunt on the edge of the grass in front of home plate. The pair came in to score on a dribbler up the middle off the bat of Carter Booth.
 
Another crooked number went on the board for Utah with a three-spot in the fourth inning, thanks to clutch two-out hitting. A walk to Roberts kept the inning going, then after he stole second base, Chase Anderson doubled off the wall to plate Roberts. Next up was Alex Baeza, and his first home run as a Ute was a no-doubter over the right field fence—a two-run shot moving the score to 6-0.
 
Richardson also stole home in the top of the seventh—the first such feat by a Ute since March 8, 2020.
 
Randon Hostert (2-0) worked 5.1 innings in the start, striking out four and allowing a pair of runs on five hits and three walks. Dusty Schramm finished the ballgame in relief, going the final 1.2 innings without a hit against.
 
Game 2
Utah 8, CSU Bakersfield 7 (11 innings)
In a four-hour, 20-minute marathon, the Utes came out on top in a back-and-forth contest that saw four ties and four lead changes. Leadoff hitter Kai Roberts went 4-for-5 with an RBI double and both Jayden Kiernan and Landon Frei were 3-for-6.
 
With Frei on second base in the ninth inning, Roberts went opposite field on the first pitch on a ball that rolled to the wall. Frei came around to give Utah a 7-6 lead at the time, but the Roadrunners began the bottom of the ninth with a solo homer to level the score at seven-all.
 
Both teams went down in order in the 10th, then the Utes finally put it away in the 11th. After being down in the count 0-2, Richardson fought his way back to earn a walk after eight pitches. With the Roadrunners' third baseman pulled into the edge of the grass, Frei then bounced a chopper over his head and down the left field line, giving Frei a double and putting Richardson on third. Booth stepped up and sent a fly ball to straightaway center, plenty deep for Richardson to tag up and produce the go-ahead run.
 
Blake Whiting (1-0) capped his four innings on the bump with a 1-2-3 bottom of the 11th. He won a seven-pitch battle for a strikeout, produced a liner to Anderson at third, and induced a pop up behind home plate that catcher Davis Cop tracked down, sealing the win and bringing the Utes over the dugout railing to the high-five line.
 
Bryson Van Sickle preceded Whiting in a four-inning appearance of his own. Van Sickle retired eight batters by strikeout—his most as a Ute. It more than doubled Van Sickle's previous season total of six K's across 6.1 innings (two prior appearances).
 
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