March 21, 2009
CORVALLIS, Oregon - Jace Brinkerhoff went 4-for-5 at the plate and came on in the ninth to earn the save on the mound as Utah Valley (6-14) ended its nine-game losing streak with a 7-6 win over Saint Mary's on Saturday.
Brinkerhoff had two doubles, two runs batted in and scored twice and also earned his first save after getting the final two outs of the game, which was played at Oregon State's Goss Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.
Brinkerhoff came on to pitch with a runner at first and one out, and after giving up an RBI double to Troy Channing to get the Gaels (13-8) to make it a one-run game, retired Cory Miller and Anthony Aliotti to end the game.
The Wolverines took an early lead with two runs in the first. After back-to-back walks to begin the first, Brinkerhoff singled to center to score Jake Rickenbach from second. After a walk to Billy Burgess loaded the bases, Chris Benson came for the second run on a wild pitch.
An error in the third allowed UVU to add to the lead. Rickenbach's two-out single was followed by an error at third that allowed Benson to reach. Brinkerhoff singled again to drive in a run before a Burgess double scored two runs. Hinckley followed with a double that scored Burgess for the fourth run of the second, putting the Wolverines up 6-0.
Saint Mary's added a single run in the third, fourth and fifth innings to cut the lead in half and get back into the game.
Jory Jensen came on with two out in the fifth and a runner at first and struck out Kyle Jensen to get out of the inning. Then in the sixth, after a lead off walk, Jensen got Young to hit into 4-6-3 double play on a nice defensive play by Rickenbach before Jensen got Toby Demello to fly to right to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Brinkerhoff doubled, his fourth hit of the day, with one out and later scored on Josh Hinckley's
second RBI of the day.
The Gaels made its first big threat in the seventh when Channing, who homered twice in the first game of the series on Friday, came up as the tying run with the bases loaded and one out in a 7-3. Channing hit a sacrifice fly into left that scored Michael Gastelum before Jensen got out of the inning by striking out Kyle Jensen for the second time on the day.
Saint Mary's added another run in the eighth to get within two, 7-5, before the tense ninth inning.
Hinckley finished the day with two hits and two RBI while Rickenbach also added two hits.
Jensen got the win to move to 2-2 while Kyle Barraclough (2-2) took the loss. Channing drove in three runs on the day and eight in the two-game series.
The Wolverines will return to Utah to face BYU in Provo at 6 p.m. on Tuesday night before a four-game series at Nevada next weekend.