Brad DeVore tossed a solid 5 2/3 innings Saturday.
April 21, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah bullpen couldn't hold on to a 4-1 lead over New Mexico Saturday afternoon at Franklin Covey Field. The Lobos scored two runs each in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to take a 7-4 win, avoiding a three-game Ute sweep.
New Mexico (18-23, 7-8 MWC) drew first blood in the contest, scoring an unearned run in the top of the first. Utah tied things up in the second when Dustin Hennis led off the inning with a walk and later scored as part of a successful double steal.
The Utes grabbed a 4-1 advantage in the third. Utah (18-21, 8-7 MWC) knocked around New Mexico starter Jacob Norton for three runs in the inning. Center fielder Nate Burnham doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a single from second baseman Corey Shimada. First Baseman Jay Brossman doubled down the left-field line to put runners at second and third.
Designated hitter Dustin Hennis then smacked a sharp single to center, plating Shimada and Brossman to put the Utes up by three. But from there, Norton settled down. He retired 16 of the final 21 batters he faced, holding Utah scoreless until the New Mexico offense could get things going.
Utah starter Brad DeVore went 5 2/3 innings and allowed just the one unearned run. Reliever Chad Cullers got DeVore and the Utes out of a jam in the sixth. But Cullers hit a batter and walked one in the seventh, bringing closer Brett Bruneel out of the bullpen. Bruneel saw the two runners he inherited score in the seventh, but Utah still led 4-3 going into the eighth.
Utah had chances to add to its four-run total, but couldn't take advantage. The Utes had runners in scoring position in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings. Shortstop Mike Mitchell led off the ninth with a single. But Burnham followed that by grounding into a double play, ending any hopes of a comeback.
Norton (3-6) took the complete-game win for New Mexico, scattering 12 hits and tossing 130 pitches. Bruneel (3-3) suffered the loss for Utah.
Utah is at home again Tuesday. The Utes host Southern Utah in a 3 p.m. contest at Ute Field.