BASEBALL: Utah Valley got some timely two-out hitting and held on late to complete a four-game sweep of Texas-Pan American with an 8-7 win on cold and windy Sunday at Brent Brown Ballpark. The game was eight innings due to UTPA's flight schedule out of Salt Lake City.
The Wolverines (25-14, 15-1) have swept three of their four Great West Conference series and are a win away from setting a new school record for wins in a season. UVU has now won 11 straight, which is also a school record for consecutive wins.
Trailing 5-4 after surrendering an early four-run lead, Goose Kallunki delivered a two-out, two-run double in the fifth to give the Wolverines the lead for good. Kallunki was 2-for-4 on the day and had three RBI.
Kevin Arendse followed with his fifth double of the series to score Kallunki and give Utah Valley a 7-5 lead.
"Those were giant at-bats," said UVU head coach Eric Madsen. "I felt that we struggled a little bit in the middle innings and for us to get battle and get those hits swung the momentum back in our favor and really were the difference for us."
"When our backs are against the wall we seem to get after it a little bit more. It's tough to try and win four games, especially against Texas-Pan American because they get in there and they scrap and battle."
The Wolverines scored what would be a crucial run in the seventh when Billy Burgess doubled and then scored from second on an aggressive play on the base paths. Kallunki hit a grounder towards the middle that second baseman Angel Ibanez knocked down and Burgess never stopped, scoring just ahead the throw to the plate.
Vincent Mejia had a bases-loaded single with two outs in the eighth to get the Broncs (14-26, 3-12) within a run but Brian Whatcott struck out UTPA's top hitter, Garrett Bivone, to end the game.
It's Whattcott's seventh save of the season and second in as many days as the Wolverines won the last two games of the series by identical 8-7 scores.
Burgess finished with two hits including his eighth home run of the year as part of a three-run first. Jace Brinkerhoff had a double in the inning and scored on Burgess' home run. Both Burgess and Brinkerhoff now have 50 RBI.
Derek Amicone had two hits including a double for UVU and Arendse's 1-for-3 day put him at 9-for-13 for the series.
After getting a save in Friday's series opener, Sam Armstrong earned the win and moved to 3-2 after throwing 4.0 innings and allowing three runs on six hits with three strikeouts. Luis Flores was tagged with the loss after seven run on seven hits in 4.2 innings, dropping him to 1-1.
Utah Valley hosts BYU on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before traveling to New York for a four-game GWC series at New York Tech over the weekend.