UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 15, 2024

Trailblazers secure victory in final game of series against UTRGV

The Utah Tech men’s baseball team closed out a three-day game series against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley March 28-30. The series started with two wins from the Vaquero’s, and in the final game, the Trailblazers secured a win of 12-5. Madison Bishop | Sun News Daily

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Utah Tech University avoided being swept in their three-game series with a comeback win in the final game against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The outcome of all three games of the series, which stretched from March 28-30, was effectively decided by one inning in each respective game. 

In the first game, it was the ninth inning that decided the game, in the second game it was the third inning that decided the game, and in the last game, it was the eighth inning that decided the game.

Head coach Chris Pfatenhauer said it is one of the team’s goals to not allow any big innings to opponents because of how much they can impact a game. He said the team needs to get better at it, but they have time because they are still in the middle of the season. 

The first game of the series was March 28 and Utah Tech lost 11 to 13.

Utah Tech was up by two runs going into the ninth inning. In the ninth inning, UTRGV scored four runs, which ultimately sealed the game. Utah Tech ended up losing by two runs.

In the second game of the series, March 29, Utah Tech lost 5 to 14.

UTRGV scored 10 runs in the third inning of the second game. After the third inning, Utah Tech was unable to make a dent in the lead that UTRGV created. The Trailblazers offense did not produce much of anything in the second half of the game.

In the final game of the series, Utah Tech won 12 to 5.

Utah Tech had 18 hits, four of which were home runs. 

The Trailblazers stranded players in scoring position several innings throughout the game, but in the eighth, they were able to string together several runs.

Utah Tech scored eight runs in the eighth inning to win in a last-minute comeback victory saving the team from being swept in the series. 

Two Utah Tech players had personal collegiate records in the final game against UTRGV. 

Hank Dodson, a senior accounting major from Summerfield, North Carolina, had two home runs in the final game. It is his first collegiate game where he has scored two home runs in a single game. 

Aaron Morris, a freshman exercise science major from Washington, Utah, got his first college win as a pitcher. He said it was nice to get his first collegiate win, but the only way that happened was because of the eight runs the Trailblazers scored in the eighth inning. 

“There is no question about this group’s character, their resilience and their fight,” Pfatenhauer said. 

Pfatenhauer said that after losing the first game in the ninth inning, it showed the passion and character the group had to fight the rest of the series and end it with a win.

In the preseason Western Athletic Conference coaches poll, Utah Tech was ranked last in the conference standing. 

“We saw that and took that personally,” Dodson said. “We know we are a better team than that. We just want to prove everyone wrong, that we do belong in the WAC and that we are going to contend.” 

The Trailblazers currently sit at 6-6 in the WAC conference standings putting them in sixth place. 

The top eight teams make the WAC baseball tournament held May 21-25 after the regular season concludes.

Utah Tech is fighting to make sure they are one of the eight teams that get to compete for the WAC championship. 

Next week Utah Tech is traveling to Orem to play Utah Valley University April 5-7 in a Western Athletic Conference three-game series.