March 18, 2011
OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley dropped a 10-6 decision to Southern Utah on Friday after the Thunderbirds broke a 4-4 tie with a six-run eighth inning.
14 walks plagued the Wolverines (3-12) throughout the game and in the eighth inning the first three T-Birds (8-8) to score did so after reaching on free passes.
Utah Valley turned the school's first-ever triple play - at the NCAA level - in the fifth inning and while any triple play is rare, this was even more unconventional.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Justin Neuhart bounced a grounder down the third base line. Austin Haws gloved it on a dive, stepped on third, threw to second - where Taylor Shaw beat the throw - before Neuhart was retired at first.
The throw then came home in front of Bo Cuthbertson but the inning was deemed over before a tag was made. The ruling was made that Cuthbertson was the third out on the play after a long discussion and the triple play was scored 5-4-3-2.
Goose Kallunki drove in three runs for the second straight game in the series and Alex Exon drove in a game-tying triple with two outs in the sixth but, also like in Thursday's opener, SUU used a big inning late to get the win.
Cuthbertson grounded into a fielder's choice in the eighth to bring home the go-ahead run before Mitchell Kauweloa had one of his three base hits to plate two more.
Down 10-4 in the eighth, Utah Valley scored twice on a two-out double by Kallunki but the attempted comeback was halted when Billy Burgess was cut down at the plate for the third out.
Chris Benson had two hits for the Wolverines and an RBI while Exon, Willie Pratt and Jason Zundel also had two hits each.
UVU trailed 4-0 before Benson's RBI scored Pratt in the third. The score remained 4-1 until seventh; Cole McWhorter
walked and moved to third on a base hit by Burgess. Kallunki then hit a sac-fly to center to put the first run on the board before Austin Heaps
walked and Exon tripled into the right field corner.
The final game of the series is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday at Brent Brown Ballpark.