A strong outing by Utah pitcher Josh Cooper was wasted Thursday night in a 5-0 loss to SDSU.
March 30, 2006
SAN DIEGO -- The University of Utah baseball team got a solid performance from starting pitcher Josh Cooper Thursday night at Tony Gwynn Stadium. But a lack of offense and shaky relief pitching cost the Utes in a 5-0 loss to San Diego State at the Mountain West Conference Preseason Tournament.
Cooper allowed a single run in the second inning. Tim O'Brien led off the frame with a triple to right-center feld. One out later, he scored on a Joey Huskins sacrifice fly, putting the Aztecs on top 1-0.
From there, Cooper cruised all the way into the eighth inning, holding San Diego State in check. His counterpart, Aztec starter Mike Coons, was also having a stellar outing. Coons scattered five hits and struck out five Utah hitters through seven innings, keeping his team on top 1-0 into the eighth inning.
Utah (11-12, 0-1 MWC) finally got to face another SDSU pitcher leading off the eighth. The Utes' Ryan Khoury led off the inning with a single against reliever Justin Lynch. Khoury advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, but Lynch struck out Bret Baldwin and retired Jay Brossman on a ground ball to get out of the inning.
Cooper allowed a leadoff home run to Nick Romero in the bottom of the eighth, giving San Diego State a 2-0 edge. Paul Smyth followed the dinger with a single, but Cooper struck out two Aztecs before being pulled from the game. Chase Christensen took the mound, but couldn't record an out. Two hits and a walk later, San Diego State led 5-0.
Cooper (3-3) finished his night allowing three runs on seven hits, while striking out nine Aztecs and allowing just one base on balls. Christensen was charged with two earned runs before Brian Hedman came on to record the final out of the inning.
The Utes are in action again Friday at 3 p.m. MST, taking on Air Force.