EDINBURG, Texas — Utah Valley pitcher Zane Gray went the distance as the Wolverines won for the third straight day at the Great West Conference Tournament and for the 13th time overall, 9-2, over Houston Baptist on Friday.
The Wolverines (41-17) now move into today's championship game at 4 p.m. MDT at Edinburg Baseball Stadium.
"Zane Gray was awesome for us and put us in a good position with our bullpen. You couldn't ask for him to pitch better than he did," said UVU coach Eric Madsen. "The guys did today what they've done all year. They didn't put any more into it than needed to be. It was just a game that we needed to go out and win, and they went out and performed like we've done all year."
In Gray's third complete game of the year, the junior allowed just the two runs despite giving up 11 hits. He worked his way through a pair of sixth-inning errors and runners at second and third and just one out.
Jake Gonzalez lined a ball off of Gray, but the lefty was able to track the ball down and throw out Gonzalez before getting Derek Smith to hit another comebacker — this time on an easy chopper — to get out of the inning.
Goose Kallunki had four hits, while Sage Thorpe had three hits and three RBIs for UVU. Jake Rickenbach and Derek Amicone each had three hits as well.
Thorpe is 6-for-8 with seven RBIs so far in the tournament and got the Wolverines on the board in the second with a base hit. Rickenbach added a two-out RBI single to put UVU up 2-0. After the Huskies (28-31) got a run back in the second, UVU scored three times with two outs. Kallunki had an RBI single and, after a ground-rule double by Kevin Arendse, Thorpe came through again with a two-run single. Utah Valley added another run in the fourth and two more in the fifth to build an 8-1 lead and Gray delivered a workman-like performance that included a pair of double plays late in the game
The Wolverines will face either Northern Colorado or NYIT in today's championship game.