March 9, 2003
TEMPE, ARIZ. -- Third baseman Brett Sundberg was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI to lead the Utah Utes to a commanding 14-5 win over Southern Utah in the sixth game of the Bob Schaefer Memorial Classic at Arizona State's Packard Stadium.
The Utes improved to 8-7 overall after losing the first two games of the tournament to Cal State Northridge and Arizona State. Southern Utah drops to 3-4 on the season with the loss.
Starting pitcher Doug McKay picked up the win by giving up five runs (three earned) in five innings of work. The sophomore right-hander struck out three and walked three to improve to 2-0 on the season. Reliever Ryan Florence also contributed a solid outing out of the bullpen with two and two-thirds innings of one-hit ball.
SUU fell at the hand of bad luck when starter Chris Gardner was forced from the game with a pair of injuries after just one inning. Relievers Jason Gillins (6 R, 6 H, 0.0 IP) and Nick Oldroyd were tagged for nine hits and nine runs in the second inning. Gillins recorded the loss to fall 0-1 on the year.
In addition to Sundberg's big game, the Utes recorded four home runs and had a season-high 18 hits. A total of six Utes recorded multi-hit games, with first baseman joining Sundberg with three hits. Jordison hit his fifth home of the year and drove home three runs.
Utah had seven straight batters reach base (six hits, BB) without recording an out to start the second inning and ended up sending 12 batters to the plate while scoring nine runs to take the early lead. Freshman designated hitter and Phoenix native (Brophy Prep) Tyler Kmetko, whose father is an Arizona Diamondbacks scout, hit a three-run home run in his first collegiate at-bat. Second baseman Jared Pena also tabbed a two-run double in the inning. Right fielder Eric Chevalier and Sundberg were both 2-for-2 in the inning, each recording a single and home run. Chevalier hit a three-run home run and then Sundberg followed with a solo shot for the back-to-back home runs.
Southern Utah answered with three runs in the top of the fourth to cut the Utah lead to 9-3. First baseman Aaron Lancaster plated SUU's first run. Designated hitter Tyler Campbell and catcher Shelby Guest each tabbed run-scoring singles in the inning.
Sundberg continued his hot hitting with a two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the fourth to increase the Utes' lead to 11-3, but SUU battled back with two runs in the sixth.
The Thunderbirds (3-4) will take some time off for spring break and return to the diamond Mar. 21 with a four-game series against Northwest Nazarene. Utah opens Mountain West play next weekend with a three-game series at San Diego State.