Baseball Falls 5-4 to FIU in Opener in Arizona

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM Jake Rickenbach had an RBI double in the ninth inning on Thursday
Jake Rickenbach had an RBI double in the ninth inning on Thursday

March 4, 2010

Box Score

Live Audio vs. Cal Poly Friday -- Friday Gametracker

SURPRISE, Arizona - Utah Valley was edged 5-4 by undefeated Florida International to open the eighth annual Coca-Cola Classic baseball tournament on Thursday night in Surprise, Arizona.

The Wolverines (4-4) got a 4-for-4 night from Jace Brinkerhoff and had the senior at third base with two out in the ninth before FIU pitcher Bryam Garcia struck out Billy Burgess to end the game.

A 2-2 tie through seven innings, the Panthers (7-0) scored three times in the top of the eighth to take a 5-2 lead. Wolverine reliever Blake Krahenbuhl retired the first two hitters in the inning before four consecutive singles gave FIU a 4-2 lead. After Brian Whatcott came in to pitch for UVU, an infield single pushed across what turned out to be a crucial run.

In the bottom of the ninth, Goose Kallunki singled to second base to open the inning. An out later and after Kallunki moved to second on a wild pitch, Jake Rickenbach doubled him home to make it a 5-3 game.

With two outs in the inning, Brinkerhoff hit a double to left to plate Rickenbach and get the Wolverines within a run. Brinkerhoff eventually moved to third on a passed ball before Garcia got Burgess to end the game and pick up his first save.

Krahenbuhl (1-1) took the loss for the Wolverines, who got a strong seven inning performance from starter Kyle Beecher. Beecher allowed two runs on five hits while striking out a pair over 7.0 innings.



Florida International scored twice in the second on an RBI double from Yoandy Barroso to take an early 2-0 lead.

Utah Valley came back with two in the fourth on an RBI from Kevin Arendse before Austin Heaps scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.

The Wolverines now face Cal Poly on Friday at 4 p.m. MT. The Mustangs dropped a 12-9 game to No. 2 Arizona State in their opener despite four home runs.