Senior catcher Konnor Armijo had a monster game at the plate, driving in six runs in total, including a grand slam, to lead Utah's baseball team over their rival BYU in Provo. The 12-10 victory gave the Utes a 1-2 record in the four-game series with the deciding game to be played in Salt Lake City in one week.
In high school, Armijo was a backup quarterback to former USC star Matt Barkley. The catcher whose motto is "Never take a day off" definitely didn't tonight, going 3-for-5 at the plate, and his four-run blast got his Utes back into the game. The senior had been averaging .271 batting with 15 RBIs.
The Utes battled back from a 9-3 sixth inning deficit, scoring five runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth to take the lead. On the mound, sophomore right handed pitcher Bret Helton struggled, but Josh Chapman, who entered in relief in the fourth inning with Utah down 8-2, pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Chapman raises his record to 3-0 with the victory.
"It showed some character and competitiveness for us to come back and win," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "Just like Sunday, we could have gone flat and gone away and we didn't. We had some big at-bats in the seventh inning and Konnor topped it off with a great swing on a pitch to get us four big ones. Huge win for us after a tough weekend. Chapman was really the hero with this win. Throwing five innings with a depleted bullpen from Sunday, that was huge for our pitching staff. It was huge for our team to win this game on the road."
The four-game series with BYU counts toward the annual Deseret Dual standings, which Utah has already clinched with the current score of 41-6. Three points, however, remain to be awarded to the winner of the baseball series. The boys in blue won the first game of the series 20-3 in Provo, then followed that up with a 4-3 extra-innings win in the 11th in Salt Lake City. With tonight's victory, Utah can tie with the final game at home on May 13 at 7 pm in Smith's Ballpark.