Carston Herman, a Snow Canyon High School alum, delivers a pitch against Seattle U May 13, 2023, at Karl Brooks Field | Photo by Stan Plewe, Utah Tech Athletics, St. George News
ST. GEORGE – Senior Day at Bruce Hurst Field was kind for the Utah Tech baseball team as the Trailblazers salvaged the final game of their penultimate Western Athletic Conference series.
After seeing Seattle U take a 2-0 advantage in the third inning, Utah Tech hit for five two-out runs in the home third to take its first lead of the series. UT scored three of its first five runs in the rally without benefit of a base hit, as the Blazers took advantage of a one-out error, two hit batters, two walks and a bases-loaded wild pitch.
Garret Cutting would eventually record the only hit in the frame with a single to right field to drive home one run, while the fifth and final run came on another Redhawk error on the play.
Seattle U later countered with a three-run inning of its own, which was aided by an unlucky hit batter and two Trailblazer miscues, to knot the game at 5-5.
Utah Tech jumped back on top for good with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth, two of which came on a Chase Rodriguez triple that plated Parker Schmidt and Ethan He, who respectively doubled and walked around the inning to lead off. Tyson Fisher followed two pitches later with a fly to right field to chase home Rodriguez.
The Blazers extended their lead to 9-5 with an insurance run in the fifth on a Schmidt RBI single. That run later proved to be a key tally as Seattle answered with a run in the sixth and two more in the eighth to cut the Utah Tech lead to 9-8.
However, the Trailblazers put the game out of reach with three runs in the home eighth to restore their four-run cushion. Cutting doubled home the first run, while Mathew Ivancich and Hank Dodson also collected RBI in the inning.
Senior reliever Jake Dahle (S, 3) then worked around two Redhawk hits in the ninth to close out the Blazer victory.
Schmidt, Rodriguez and Cutting each tallied two hits as Utah Tech finished with 12 safeties on the day. Freshman left-hander Evan Vasiliou (W, 1-3) was credited with his first collegiate victory after tossing one hitless inning with a strikeout.
Utah Tech had dropped the first two games of the series – 9-2 and 7-5 on May 12-13. And on the road this week, the Blazers have lost the first two games of a three-game series at Sacramento State, 13-6 on Thursday and 12-3 on Friday.
As they did in Thursday night’s series opener, the Trailblazers (13-38 overall 8-21 WAC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Friday, thanks to a Zach Thomas single and Blake Borgogno RBI -groundout.
From there, it was all Hornets as they hit a two-run home run in the first, five runs in the third, and plated two more runs in both the fifth and sixth frames to clinch the conference series win.
In the series opener, Utah Tech went up 2-0 in the first inning, but couldn’t overcome a big Hornet second inning. Tyson Fisher hit his team-leading ninth home run of the year, and 41stSt of his storied career, with a runner on and two outs in the opening frame.
But that lead was short-lived as Sacramento State answered with two unearned runs in the home first before erupting for seven runs in the second to race out to a commanding 9-2 advantage. The Hornets sent 11 batters to the plate in that decisive inning and managed to score all seven runs on just four hits while taking advantage of four walks.