Shaun Cooper hit a solo home run in the second inning against Arizona.
April 5, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - Shaun Cooper's solo home run in the second inning and Gavin Green's 3-for-3 night at the plate were the highlights for the Utah baseball team in an 11-2 loss to fourth-ranked Arizona on Thursday evening.
The Utes scattered eight hits throughout the game. Cooper was 2-for-4 on the night.
The big innings for Arizona were the first and the fifth innings, scoring three runs in each inning. The Wildcats scored two runs in the third with solo runs in the fourth, eighth and ninth innings. Seven Arizona players had two or more hits, led by a 4-for-5 performance from Johnny Field. Bobby Brown and Alex Mejia each drove in three runs and Robert Refsnyder was 3-for-3 with two walks.
Utah struggled with Arizona ace Kurt Heyer, who pitched a complete game with four strikeouts to pick up his fifth win of the year.
"I thought we were aggressive at the plate and I thought we hit some balls hard," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "Their center fielder made three or four really good plays, but I was pleased with our approach today. Heyer has been in this league for a few years as a Friday night guy, and we squared him up a few times and had some opportunities, but he made quality pitches when it counted."
The Utes made a rally to start the ninth, leading off with back-to-back hits from Trey Nielsen and Cooper. Heyer forced Biss Larsen (who made his first appearance as a pinch hitter since Feb. 25 after returning from an injury) into a ground ball double play before Green singled to left center to send Nielsen in. Tyler Relf flied out to center to end the game.
"[Arizona] swung the bats extremely well," Kinneberg said. "They are a very good, well-rounded ballclub. If you make a mistake, they're going to capitalize on that, and part of this league is playing really good teams."
The Utes and Wildcats play game two on Friday, April 6, at 6:00 p.m. Wear black for free admission as part of Black Friday.