Diamond Dawgs lose heartbreaker
SEATTLE - Luke West struck out all five batters he faced and Cory Hunt broke a 4-4 tie with an infield single in the top of the 10th inning to lift Utah to a 5-4 win over Washington in the opener of a three game Pac-12 series at Husky Ballpark on a sunny Friday evening.
The Utes (6-19 Pac-12, 17-26) led 4-0 going into the bottom of the eighth when the Huskies (8-14, 17-30) finally got on the scoreboard, scoring twice to make it 4-2. Andrew Ely led off with his fourth single of the game against starter Mitch Watrous, and after Robert Pehl struck out swinging, Michael Camporeale lined a double down the left field line to score Ely and prompt the Utes to go to the bullpen. Nick Green came in but did not give the Utes any relief as he faced only pinch hitter Ryan Wiggins and gave up a single that scored Camporeale.
The Huskies continued the comeback in the bottom of the ninth and tied the game at 4. Parker Guinn led off with a walk and pinch hitter Duncan Hendrickson lined a single to left. Jayce Ray moved up the runners with a sacrifice, With a 2-2 count on the next batter, Ely, third Ute pitcher Joe Pond fired a wild pitch, allowing Guinn to score for 4-3 and pinch runner Erik Forgione to take third, Ely eventually reached on a hit by pitch, bringing up Pehl with only one out. Pehl looked at a ball and a strike before grounding a single through the left side of the infield to plate Forgione with the tying run.
Utah then brought in West and he prevented any more scoring, striking out both Camporeale and Bishop swinging to send the game into extra frames. In the bottom of the 10th, West (3-2) emphatically slammed the door on the Huskies, striking out the side, and helped the Utes to end a nine game losing streak.
In the top of the 10th, after Zach Wright (2-5) walked AJ Young to lead off the inning, Trevor Dunlap entered the game and retired Tyler Yagi on a soft liner to Pehl in shallow center and struck out Cody Scaggari looking. Braden Anderson then blooped a single that dropped between Camporeale and Forgione in left field. On the play Young moved from first to third and then scored the go-ahead run for 5-4 when Hunt hit a hard grounder off Ely's glove at third.
Earlier, the Utes got on the board first and took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth. Scaggari singled and Anderson got hit by a pitch. Utah then executed a double steal which paid off when Scaggari scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Hunt. Trey Nielsen then drove a 1-0 pitch over Ray's head in dead center field for a double to score Anderson.
The Utes added another pair of runs in the top of the sixth to make it 4-0. Tyler Relf led off with a single and stole second, one of five steals by the Utes in the game. He scored on a single by Wyler Smith. Scaggari then followed with another single, with Smith moving to third. Scaggari then stole second. On the play it looked like Guinn intended to throw to shortstop Ty Afenir not to make a play at second but just to hold Smith at third. Unfortunately for the Huskies the throw caromed off Afenir's glove and into the outfield, allowing Smith to score anyways.
Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision. Jared Fisher went five and two thirds innings for the Huskies, allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits and three walks while striking out four. Watrous went seven and one thirds innings for the Utes, allowing two runs, both earned, on eight hits. He did not walk anyone and struck out five.
Offensively for the Huskies, Ely had a perfect night, reaching base in all five of his plate appearances with four hits and a hit by pitch. He raised his average to .335. Camporeale went 3 for 4 and reached safely four times, upping his average to .325.
The two teams continue the series on Saturday at 12:00 noon with Austin Voth taking the mound for the Huskies and conclude the series on Sunday with another 12:00 first pitch.