Feb. 26, 2013
OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley University knocked off 10th-ranked and defending national champion Arizona, 3-1, on Tuesday in the first of two midweek games between the teams at Hi Corbett Field.
It's the second year in a row that the Wolverines (4-4) have beaten a ranked Arizona squad. UVU defeated the Wildcats, 5-4, last season in Orem prior the Arizona's run to a College World Series title.
The Wolverines (4-4) got a strong combined performance on the hill from Andrew Freter, Jeff Barto and Brian Whatcott. Freter (1-0) got the win after throwing 5.1 innings and allowing just one unearned run on three hits; Barto tossed 2.2 scoreless and Whatcott earned his second save after picking up the final three outs.
"I'm proud of the way we battled tonight. We gave them opportunities but our pitchers did a great job of making big pitches when they needed to," said head coach Eric Madsen. "This is a nice early-season win for us against a great program. Coach (Andy) Lopez is one of the best there is in college baseball and we appreciate the opportunity to compete against his club."
Colby Croft had three hits for UVU while Trent Gilbert led Arizona with two hits.
Utah Valley scored twice in the second including a two-out RBI triple from Beau Kallas that scored Court Zollinger. Kallas' triple was lost in the evening sky by left fielder Joseph Maggi, allowing Zollinger to score from first. Both runs came in unearned after an error at third opened the frame.
The Wolverines took a 3-0 lead in the third when Kai Hatch's sacrifice fly plated Willie Pratt.
Arizona came back with a run in the fifth on an RBI single from Gilbert. The Wildcats were threatening for more with runners on second and third and no out. That threat was ended when Brandon Dixon left third early on a liner to center field and was doubled up to end the inning.
Whatcott entered in the ninth with one on and nobody out. He got Zach Gibbons to ground into a fielder's choice and Maggi to ground back to him for the second out. Scott Kingery walked to put two runners on and bring the winning run to the plate, before striking out Riley Moore to end the game.
Arizona stranded eight runners over its final four at-bats; two each in the last four innings.
Utah Valley is now 5-20 all-time against ranked opponents including wins in three of the last four ranked schools it has faced. It's the first win for the Wolverines in Tucson, who were 0-15 prior to Tuesday's victory.
The series concludes on Tuesday at 1 p.m. MT with Ty Hansen scheduled to start for the Wolverines.