April 19, 2012
OREM, Utah -- Goose Kallunkihomered twice as Utah Valley University set a new school record with its 16th straight win, 12-5, over the University of Texas-Pan American on Thursday night at Brent Brown Ballpark.
The Wolverines (23-11, 9-0 GWC) also tallied three triples in winning the opener of the crucial Great West Conference series featuring two of the top hitting teams in the country, each of whom entered the weekend unbeaten in league play.
"I was pleased we answered their big inning the way we did," said UVU head coach Eric Madsen. "The win streak is great but more than anything our guys just try and win the next game on the schedule. The players have a lot of pride in what they've done and the direction our club is going."
UVU got off to a fast start, taking a 3-0 lead after one inning of play. After a balk put the Wolverines on the board, Kallunki followed with a mammoth, two-run blast to left. Sean Moysh's two-out triple in the second gave way to an RBI single from Billy Burgessto make it 4-0 Wolverines.
The Broncs (21-8, 8-1 GWC) had chances to score in the early innings but left the bases loaded in both the second and third. In the fourth inning however, UTPA took advantage of its opportunities and plated four runs to knot the game at 4-4. Brandon Roush led off the inning with his first home run of the season and Will Klausing capped the scoring when he sliced a double into the left field corner to plate two more.
The Wolverines answered with another big two-out rally in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs and nobody on, Jake Rickenbach was hit by a pitch and Moysh walked before Burgess lined a single into center to put UVU back up by a run. Austin Heapsfollowed Burgess with a gapper to right center that trickled to the wall, resulting in a bases-clearing, two-run triple. The first seven runs UVU scored all came with two outs.
Heaps finished with four RBIs on a 2-for-5 night while Burgess finished 3-for-4 with two more batted in. Jordy Hart
turned in a 2-for-4 night including an RBI.
Kallunki knocked his second homer of the game, and ninth for the season, in the bottom of the seventh, pushing UVU to an 8-4 advantage. The multi-home run game is the second of Kallunki's career and first since the 2010 season.
After UTPA got a run back in the top of the eighth, the Wolverines put the game out of reach with a four-run inning. Willie Pratttripled to deep center and came in to score on a base hit by Pratt. Rickenbach then singled to right to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. Moysh's sac-fly brought home Hart before Heaps extended the lead to 12-5 with a two-run single through the right side.
Ryan Chadwick (3-0), who entered the game in the top of the fourth, picked up the win for UVU. UTPA's Bryan Maxwell, who took the mound after Bronc starter Colby McCasland left the game due to injury after just fifteen pitches, fell to 3-2. Josh Swensonearned his fourth save after entering in the eighth with the tying run on deck and finishing off the ninth for UVU.
"Texas-Pan American is a well-coached club and there's a reason why they've hit the way they have. That's a good team," Madsen said. "We're going to have to stay focused and play the way we're capable of each night. We don't have the opportunity for any let downs."
The series continues Friday with a doubleheader. Game one is scheduled for 4 p.m. and a fireworks show will follow the conclusion of the second game. The fireworks come as the conclusion to Utah Valley University's day-long celebration of the unveiling of the new Science Building.