Utah Valley Wins Close One over North Dakota, 3-2
May 26, 2011
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -
Blake Krahenbuhl allowed one run over 8-plus innings as the No. 1 seed Utah Valley defeated No. 7 seed North Dakota, 3-2, in a pitchers' dual on Thursday night at the 2011 Great West Conference Tournament at North Dakota's Kraft Memorial Field.
Utah Valley ended North Dakota's Cory Baker's bid for a no-hitter in the sixth with a bunt single by speedy second basemen Cole McWhorter. Chris Benson then sacrificed Kirk Doxey - who walked - and McWhorter over the third and second, respectively. The two were plated as UVU took a 2-1 lead after Austin Heaps' grounder went through the glove of UND's second basemen Kris Kwak and into the outfield.
The Wolverines (33-22) added to what turned out to be a much needed insurance run in the ninth off a RBI single by Billy Burgess, extending their lead to 3-1.
After allowing a leadoff single by Ryan Gerber in the bottom half of the ninth, Krahenbuhl (7-2) was relieved by Josh Swenson. Swenson allowed a single by Jake Magner then a passed ball put Magner and Gerber on second and third. Swenson then struck out Josh Ray and forced Kwak to hit a fly out, which plated Gerber before getting Zack Trygstad to ground out to end the game.
Swenson earned his sixth save by getting all three outs in the ninth and Krahenbuhl moved to 7-2 on the season by scattering six hits and two runs - none earned - in 8-plus innings.
Trygstad gave UND the early 1-0 lead in the fourth with an RBI single that scored Kwak.
Baker - who threw 147 pitches in the game - allowed four hits and three runs, one earned, in 8.2 innings in the losing effort.
Utah Valley advances to Saturday's championship game while North Dakota (12-34) will wait to play the winner of the Houston Baptist-NYIT matchup tomorrow at 2 p.m.