May 22, 2014
MESA, Arizona – Utah Valley University erased a seven-run deficit to earn a come-from-behind win over New Mexico State, 11-10, in the opening round of the 2014 WAC Baseball Tournament on Wednesday. The Wolverines (26-28) will now face Texas-Pan American on Thursday at 3 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MT at Cubs Park.
“I’m really proud of how the guys fought after the way things started,” said head coach Eric Madsen. “We started off sluggish and New Mexico State came out with a lot of energy, but our will to win was great tonight I’m so happy for the guys.”
UVU trailed 4-0 after the top of the first and 8-1 in the sixth before starting the trek back against the Aggies (21-30). The Wolverines took advantage of three straight walks to begin the sixth in scoring six times to make it a one-run game, 8-7, after six.
After New Mexico State starter Chris Bradley, who walked nine in the game, walked three straight to load the bases in the sixth, Seth Rhineer doubled against Matt Stein to clear the bases and make it an 8-4 game. Rhineer then scored on a base hit by Sean Moysh and later, with Mark Krueger and Riley White aboard, Craig Brinkerhoff doubled home both runners to cap the six-run frame.
The Aggies added two runs in the eighth, getting a RBI single from Michael Paulson, who later scored on a passed ball to give his team a 10-7 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Krueger walked and White singled to right before Brinkerhoff again doubled, and again drove home both runners to get UVU back within a run. Greyson Bogden then reached on a bunt single and NM State pitcher Riley Barr’s throw was wide at first, allowing Brinkerhoff to score the tying run and Bogden to take second. Then, with two outs and Bogden at third, Kade Andrus delivered what turned out to be the game-winning hit on a single to left.
Chad Michaud worked around a walk and a single in the ninth, getting Derek Umphres to fly out to Andrus in left with runners on the corners to end the game. Michaud earned his fifth save while Tory Ulibarri (1-0) got the win after pitching two-thirds of an inning. Barr (5-3) took the loss for the Aggies, his second loss of the year to Utah Valley.
Rhineer was 3-for-6 with three RBIs for UVU while Brinkerhoff drove in four with his two doubles. For New Mexico State, which out-hit Utah Valley 16-13, Michael Medina, Paulson and Umphres each had three hits.
The game was UVU’s first WAC Tournament game with tomorrow’s contest against Texas-Pan American the first for the Broncs, who joined the league along with Utah Valley after both schools were part of the Great West Conference.
For Utah Valley, it's the second time in the last three games the team has erased a seven-run deficit to win. The Wolverines trailed Grand Canyon last Saturday, 7-0, before scoring nine times in the seventh inning to win 9-7.