Baseball drops final game of regular season
OREM, Utah – In the regular season finale, Utah Valley edged Northern Colorado 6-2 on the diamond. The Bears enter the Great West Tournament with a 23-30 record after posting a 19-7 mark in league play. The Wolverines end with a 30-22 overall record and went 22-2 in conference action.
Northern Colorado combined for just six hits on the afternoon, with junior Tony Crudo getting two of them. Utah Valley out-hit the Bears for the first time in the series, with 13 hits and the teams combined for five errors in the game.
Sophomore catcher Harrison Lambert and junior short stop Adam Hilker each scored one run and junior Ben Packard had both RBI. Junior Jarod Berggren had his 19-game hitting streak snapped, though he reached base twice as he walked and was hit by a pitch.
Senior Chris Carlberg was handed the loss (3-3) after pitching four innings. He allowed three runs on four hits, walking two with no strikeouts. Seniors Brendan Hall and Joe Sawicki each gave up one run, as did junior Nate Steinmetz.
Hilker started the game with an 11-pitch at bat, eventually drawing a walk. Senior Bret Fanning reached on an error by UVU starter Blake Krahenbuhl on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Packard continued his doubles barrage, smoking one down the left field line for the first run of the game. Carlberg retired the side in order in the first, getting three fly outs.
Two singles and a sac fly by Utah Valley knotted the score in the bottom of the second, 1-1.
Lambert drew a walk to start the fifth inning off Craig Brimhall, who took over in relief of Krahenbuhl on the mound. Hilker reached on an error by the second baseman and Fanning sacrificed both up 90 feet. Berggren walked to load the bases and Packard hit a sacrifice fly to the wall in left center to give the Bears a 2-1 lead.
Utah Valley took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth after scoring three runs on three hits with two walks. They added one run each in the bottom of the seventh and eighth for a 6-2 advantage, which was the final score.
Northern Colorado earned the two-seed at the Great West Conference Tournament and will face host North Dakota in the first round on Tuesday. Brackets will be released by the league office on Sunday.