After losing twice to BYU in Provo this season, the Utes were happy to finally come away with a win over their in-state rival. With a solid overall performance from the offense and defense, the Utes beat the Cougars 8-1.
Kyle Hoffman, a sophomore who played shortstop Tuesday night, knows that while this game holds no implications on Pac-12 standings, it gives the team a certain edge.
“Growing up you always see the Utes and the Cougars and getting a chance to play with guys banged up I just needed to come in and do my job,” Hoffman said. “A win here doesn’t mean much in the standings, but it’s always a rivalry and we’re just trying to go out and have a good time and beat those guys.”
Head coach Bill Kinneberg was impressed with the way Hoffman was able to step up for an injured Cody Scaggari and believes he will only add to Utah’s depth heading into this final stretch of the regular season.
“That’s huge for us for confidence with him,” Kinneberg said. “If Cody can’t go this weekend or one of the two games or something, we have a good defensive shortstop there. He was outstanding”
The Utes got on the scoreboard in the first inning after an RBI double from Kellen Marruffo, which brought in Dallas Carroll who was previously walked. The Utes would go on to score another run in the second, and after a scoreless third, Utah added on a couple more in the fourth with some flair.
DaShawn Keirsey Jr., a freshman, had two at bats and each time he did his job and brought in runners to help strengthen the Utes lead over BYU. Keirsey kept things going after a wild pitch was thrown and stole home.
“We knew that [Colton] Shaver hasn’t been behind the plate that much and the ball bounced far off of him in the third and coach told me if that happened again to be heads up and it did,” Keirsey said. “It feels good to get a win over BYU. It was my first win over BYU with the rivalry.”
BYU went on too score its lone run in the top of the sixth to make the score 4-1, but the Utes responded in the bottom half with a run of their own. In the seventh, the Utes tacked on another three runs to bring the final score to 8-1.
Though the Utes’ offense put up several runs, Kinneberg was most impressed with the defense his team displayed.
“It was our night,” Kinneberg said. “Plays went our way and we earned it. We made some great plays out there that held them in check and that is one of the better offensive clubs in the county.”
Kinneberg credited pitchers Nolan Strouder, Hunter Rodriguez and Andre Jackson with doing a great job to help lead the Utes earn a win.
The Utes are now 21-25 and currently in first place in the Pac-12. They head to California this weekend to take on Cal.