Wolverines Use Long Ball to Take Series Opener

WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM Jake Rickenbach hit a home run and a triple as part of a three-hit night on Thursday
WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM
Jake Rickenbach hit a home run and a triple as part of a three-hit night on Thursday
WOLVERINEGREENDOTCOM

March 29, 2012

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OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley University tied a school record as six different players homered in a series-opening, 17-7, win over Southern Utah on Thursday night at Brent Brown Ballpark.

Alex Exon's three-run home run to left center broke a 7-7 tie in the fifth and put the Wolverines (10-11) up for good to clinch UVU's third straight win.

"It was a good day. Our guys have put in a lot of work this week and I was really pleased with the way we swung the bat," said UVU head coach Eric Madsen. "We've been doing a more consistent job as of late. We've got guys that will hit the ball out of the park, we just have to stay within our approach and that can happen."

Goose Kallunki got things started in the second inning with a big blast to left center and three batters later, Cole Butcher hit his first collegiate home run on the first pitch he saw to bring home two more and make 4-0. Jake Rickenbach's solo shot later in the inning gave UVU a 5-0 lead.

Southern Utah got a pair of home runs in a three-run third and followed that with three more in the fourth to take the lead. In the fourth, David Ricker hit his second two-run homer in as many innings to give the Thunderbirds (6-18) a 6-5 lead.

SUU led 7-5 entering the bottom of the fifth when the Wolverines used a two-out rally to take control of the game. With two down and the bases empty, two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases. A wild pitch made it a one-run game and Kai Hatch's infield single tied it 7-7 before Exon's home run to left center gave Utah Valley a 10-7 lead.

The Wolverines extended it in the sixth, again using the long ball to put three more on the board. Jordy Hart led off with is first collegiate home run and Sean Moysh made it 13-7 two batters later with the team's sixth round-tripper of the night.

In the seventh, UVU stretched it to a 10-run lead with four more runs, getting back-to-back triples from Hart and Rickenbach and a double from Moysh in the frame.

Rickenbach led the way with three hits and two RBIs while Moysh and Exon both drove in three runs. Four other players had two hits each.

Taylor Mangum threw 3.0 innings in relief and struck out four to earn the win on the mound. Josh Swenson and Kole Mickolio also threw scoreless innings to close out the game.

Game two of the series is set for Friday at 6 p.m. and can be heard live on 960 AM the Zone.