John Welsh scored Utah's lone run in Friday's loss to New Mexico State.
Feb. 3, 2006
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The University of Utah baseball team dropped its season opener, 4-1, to New Mexico State Friday afternoon at Presley Askew Field.
The game was tied 1-1 through seven innings. But New Mexico State put together a three-run eighth inning to break the tie. Utah pitcher Josh Cooper gave up back-to-back walks to Luke Hopkins and Adam Harvey to open the eighth. Cooper struck out the Aggies' Jason Rodriguez. But Joseph Godinez then ripped a double to left field, pushing Hopkins and Harvey across and giving NMSU a 3-1 lead. Godinez advaced to third on a groundout and later scored on an infield single to give the Aggies their 4-1 lead.
Utah threatened in the ninth, but couldn't manage to score. With two outs, junior first baseman Jay Brossman (Pullman, Wash.) and junior third baseman Erich Kemp (Hemet, Calif.) delivered consecutive singles. Senior Mike Tummolo came on to pinch hit and represented the tying run. But his ground ball forced Kemp out at second, ending the rally attempt.
"We looked like a team that just came out from indoors," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "We're capable of doing much better. I was a little disappointed with our offense."
Bases on balls troubled the Utes all day. New Mexico State scored the first run of the ball game after leadoff hitter Vince Rodden walked, stole second, moved to third on a fly ball and then scored on a sacrifice fly. Utah out-hit New Mexico State, rapping out six hits, while the Aggies managed just four. But Utah pitchers allowed nine walks in the contest, including six in two innings of work for Cooper.
Junior Lucas Trinnaman (Alpine, Utah) started on the hill for the Utes. He allowed one run in 3.2 innings of work, while walking three and striking out two. Freshman Brad DeVore (Scottsdale, Ariz.) worked 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Cooper (0-1) took the loss, allowing three runs in two innings of work. Kemp was 2-for-4 to lead the Utes at the plate.
"I'm proud of the way we pitched," Kinneberg said. "Trinnaman and DeVore did a nice job. It was an aberration that Cooper walks six guys."
Beto Romo (1-0) pitched four innings in relief for New Mexico State to pick up the win. He allowed just two hits.
The Utes and Aggies resume their three-game set Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.