BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Despite a late rally that saw Utah tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the ninth inning, the Utes baseball team fell to UC Santa Barbara, 3-2, after the Gauchos scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
Utah (14-39) was down 2-1 going into the ninth inning, but loaded the bases after Gavin Green was hit by a pitch, followed by walks to Tyler Relf and Parker Morin. Shaun Cooper was hit to send in the game-tying run before Trey Nielsen struck out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, UCSB (26-27) loaded the bases with one out with the help of two walks and an error. Although Bryce Tafelski was thrown out at home to get the second out of the inning, Brandon Trinkwon hit an RBI single to drive in the game-winning run.
GONZAGA 13, BYU 1: At Provo, The Gonzaga Bulldogs used a stellar pitching effort and two big innings to take down the BYU baseball team 13-1 on Friday at Miller Park.
Gonzaga's starting pitcher Marco Gonzales was dominant on the mound for the Zags (33-22, 13-10). Gonzales went eight scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out 12 Cougars (22-26, 10-13) for the win. He also went 2 for 3 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored, helping Gonzaga score 10 runs in a two-inning span.
Outfielder Kelton Caldwell was a bright spot in BYU's lineup, collecting three of the Cougars' five total hits. Caldwell also scored BYU's only run of the ballgame.
The top of the sixth inning was a forgettable one for the Cougars, giving up six runs, two of them unearned, on four hits. Gonzaga took a 12-0 lead after the big inning. Eleven batters came to the plate in the inning for the Zags, who added another run in the top of the seventh.
WOLVERINES SET FOR FINAL: Utah Valley University will play for its third straight Great West Conference Tournament championship today at 2:30 p.m. against Houston Baptist.
The 27th-ranked Wolverines (46-12), the tournament's top seed, reached the title game by posting three straight, allowing Utah Valley to have Friday off in prepping for today's championship. The Wolverines will have two chances to win once in their attempt at a three-peat of both the Great West regular season and tournament title.