March 30, 2012
OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley University rolled to its fourth consecutive win, 9-1, over Southern Utah on Friday night at Brent Brown Ballpark.
The Wolverines (11-11) rode a first-inning three-run home run from Austin Heaps and the arm of starter Preston Olson to get their second straight victory in the weekend series against the Thunderbirds (6-19). UVU will go for the series and season sweep of SUU on Saturday.
"Preston did a terrific job. He kept them off balance and really controlled the tempo of the game throughout," said UVU head coach Eric Madsen. "The start could not have gone better. We want to try and control momentum all the time and to go out and do it early and keep the pressure on was big for us."
Olson allowed just one run on four hits -- all singles -- in 7.0 innings of work. He struck out seven batters and walked four in improving his record to 3-0.
In the first inning, Heaps followed a Jake Rickenbach single and a walk to Willie Pratt with his team-leading third home run of the year to put Utah Valley up 3-0. The Wolverines added a run in the second when Rickenbach doubled home Jordy Hart.
Southern Utah got on the board with a run in third on an RBI base hit by Tyson Weber, but he was thrown out when he tried to take second base, ending the inning.
Hart led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and scored his second run of the game when Rickenbach singled back up the middle. Goose Kallunki's two-out single to right brought home Rickenbach to give UVU a 7-1 lead.
Kallunki had another two-out RBI in the eighth with a double off the wall in left that plated Heaps. Kallunki then scored when Hatch singled thru the middle to make it 9-1 Wolverines.
joined Rickenbach and Heaps with three hits apiece. Kallunki, Hatch and Hart each had two-hit nights.
Kelsey Outram (1-5) took the loss for the T-Birds after surrendering seven runs on 12 hits in 5.0 innings. Ryan Chadwick and Jeff Barto each threw a perfect inning in relief for Utah Valley.
Saturday's finale is set for 1 p.m. MT.