NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — A rally in the ninth inning fell short as Utah Valley University dropped a 3-1 contest on Sunday at Cal State Northridge. Kai Hatch went 4-for-4 for the Wolverines (9-16) in a loss that gave the Matadors (10-12) a four-game series sweep.
Shut out through eight innings, the Wolverines loaded the bases with one out in the ninth on consecutive singles by Jordy Hart, Kade Andrus and Hatch. Mark Krueger hit a sacrifice fly to score Hart, but Harley Holt got Beau Kallas to fly out to right to end the game, earning his first save of the season.
CSUN starter John Salas pitched 8.0 shutout innings, striking out five without allowing a walk. Salas only faced one real threat — in the second inning — and did not allow a runner past first in his final six innings of work. He pitched to the minimum over his final four innings, twice retiring Wolverines who reached on singles on double plays. He also retired the side in order four times during the day.
Miles Williams homered with two out in the first to put the Matadors up 1-0 early. It was Williams’ second home run of the series and seventh of the season. Northridge added their other runs in the fourth and fifth to take a 3-0 lead.
Devin Nelson (1-2) pitched well but took the loss; he allowed three runs on six hits and struck out four in 6.0 innings of work. Brian Whatcott pitched two shutout innings for Utah Valley. UVU has lost five straight and was swept in a four-game series for the first time since the 2009 season.
The Wolverines will have this week off before playing at BYU on Tuesday, April 2. They’ll then travel to NJIT for a four-game series to open the final season of Great West Conference play on April 5.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.