OREM, Utah - March 18 - Southern Utah University baseball used a six-run eighth inning to wrap up its fourth consecutive victory, and second of the series, over Utah Valley on Friday night with a 10-6 decision. The win squares the Thunderbirds' season record at 8-8 on the year while the Wolverines drop to 3-12.
SUU opened the scoring in the top of the second inning, drawing a pair of opening walks with Taylor Shaw and Justin Neuhart showing patience at the plate. A single by Brock Westphal loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly ball during the next at bat scored Shaw from third.
Three more runs crossed the plate for the Thunderbirds in the top of the third inning as Chase Rezac and Marcus Romero opened the frame with back-to-back singles. An RBI double by Bo Cuthbertson put men on second and third during the next at bat with an RBI ground ball off the bat of Mitchell Kauweloa scoring the second run of the inning. The final run of the inning came on a double steal as Shaw and Cuthbertson stole while on first and third, respectively.
Utah Valley put its first run on the board in the bottom of the third on an RBI single and tied the game at 4-4 with a sacrifice fly and two-run triple in the bottom of the seventh. However the deadlock didn't last long as Southern Utah put put together four hits and four walks to score six runs in the top of the eigth.
Dave Ricker began the rally by drawing a one-out walk and was followed by two more walks surrendered by Utah Valley pitchers to load the bases. Cuthbertson's ground ball to the shortstop marked the second out of the inning, but scored Ricker from third base. Cuthbertson then moved to second on a stolen base and then came around to score as Kauweloa tallied a two-run single to right field to clear the bases.
Another T-Bird single and walk loaded the bases for the second time in the inning and runs followed as Westphal knocked a two-run single to left field, leaving SUU with runners on first and second. A final RBI single up the middle by Taggart Lunceford punctuated Southern Utah's scoring in the frame and opened up a big 10-4 lead.
Utah Valley mustered two more runs in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run double with the game ending in the ninth on a final groundout induced by SUU reliever Adam Dell.
Nick Newberry earned the victory on the hill for the Thunderbirds, throwing 1.2 innings of relief while Ty Hansen suffered the loss for UVU, allowing two runs on two walks with two strikeouts.
Southern Utah will be looking for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon when the teams take to the field again for game three. First pitch of the contest is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Brent Brown Ballpark.