Wolverines rally but fall in GWC Tournament opener

Spencer Gothberg

May 21, 2013

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NEWARK, N.J. -- A late rally couldn't pull Utah Valley University out of a four-run deficit in an 8-7 loss to North Dakota in the opening game of the 2013 Great West Conference Baseball Tournament on Tuesday. The final GWC Tournament is being hosted by NJIT at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark, N.J.

It's the first time the Wolverines (24-29) have lost in now the fourth and final season of the Great West tournament. UVU must now come all the way through the loser's bracket to try and win its fourth straight tournament title.

"I thought we fought and battled to the end but made too many mistakes that we need to eliminate," said head coach Eric Madsen. "Give credit to North Dakota. They got the big hits and made the plays when they needed them."

Spencer Gothberg hit a three-run home run for the Wolverines while Riley White and Stone Ramsey each had two hits and two RBIs. Ramsey had a two-run single in the ninth to get UVU within a run but was stranded at second as the game-tying run.

Greyson Bogden and Mark Krueger both had two hits as the four freshmen in the Utah Valley lineup combined for seven of the 13 hits and five of the seven runs batted in.

North Dakota (24-20-1) finished with 15 hits on the day including a 3-for-4 effort and two RBIs from Patrick Vandoorne. UND jumped out with three in the second, the last two coming on a two-run double from Vandoorne.

White started a string of four straight UVU hits in the fourth with a leadoff double. Ramsey followed with a base hit before Gothberg tied the game with his home run, the freshman's second of the season.

UND would answer though, putting four runs on the board in the top of the fifth. After Tyler Petersen drove home the go-ahead run with a groundout to second, three straight hits plated three more for North Dakota to make it 7-3.

Utah Valley cut the deficit in half in the seventh after Bogden singled with one out and Krueger had an infield hit two batters later. After Krueger moved up on a wild pitch, White drove home both runners with a base hit to trim the score to 7-5.

UND got a big insurance run in the top of the ninth; a two-out base hit by Daniel Lockhert that drove in Petersen and proved to be the winning run.

Utah Valley will play its first elimination game in the GWC Tournament on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. ET/7 a.m. MT against Chicago State.