Balanced Effort Gives Utah 10-3 Triumph at WSU
PULLMAN, Wash. – Eight different Utes had a hit, eight scored at least one run and six had multi-hit days at the plate as Utah pulled out a 10-3 victory over Washington State on Saturday and clinched the three-game series at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Utah (17-9-1, 4-4 Pac-12) has scored 10 runs in back-to-back games for the first time this season, and for the first time in consecutive Pac-12 games since April 2017.
Starting pitcher Jaden Harris (1-0) went six-plus innings for the Utes, taking a shutout into the seventh. Harris' final line included a single run on five hits plus a walk, striking out four along the way. Micah Ashman pitched in relief for the second straight game, dealing the final 1.2 innings on the day.
For Utah, leadoff hitter Landon Frei led the way with three hits as did two-hole hitter Alex Baeza, followed down the lineup with two each from Jayden Kiernan, Britt Graham, Matt Richardson and Dakota Duffalo. Chase Anderson hit his third home run of the season, and Baeza, TJ Clarkson, Jayden Kiernan and Matt Richardson (2) all had doubles.
Frei had a team-high three RBI, and both Anderson and Richardson scored twice.
Utah broke the ice with a two-run second inning, thanks to a single off the bat of Frei that dropped into shallow center field. Graham and Richardson came in to score on the play after having reached earlier on a single and error, respectively. The pair moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Duffalo.
Then in the fourth inning, the Utes doubled the lead to 4-0. Frei grounded out to bring in Richardson from third base. With Duffalo now on second base, Baeza popped a single through the left side. Duffalo appeared to be beaten out on a throw to the plate, but interference was called as he rounded third—awarding Duffalo home plate and thus a run in the process.
In the fifth, another two-spot went on the board for Utah. Anderson led off the inning going opposite field on the first pitch for a solo homer, then later in the inning Richardson's second double of the day plated Carter Booth for a 6-0 lead.
Eight men came to bat for the Utes in the sixth inning, en route to posting four runs on five hits. Clarkson pulled a double down the right field line to score two, Booth drove in one on a sac fly, and the switch-hitting Graham dropped a single into left center field allowing Jayden Kiernan to come in from second base—giving Utah a 10-0 advantage.
Washington State got on the board in its half of the seventh, when Jake Meyer led off with a first-pitch solo shot over the wall in right center field. The Cougars added a two-run home run in their half of the eighth inning to bring the game to its final score of 10-3.
Utah, which has matched its win total from the 2021 season, will look for the series sweep with the Cougars in a Sunday, April 3 game slated for a 2:05 p.m. MT first pitch.
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Wind was howlin' all day at the ballpark, but our club came out with the victory
— Utah Baseball (@utahbaseball) April 3, 2022