The Provo Bulldogs scored five runs in the third inning and four runs in the fifth inning to move past the Tooele Buffaloes on the 10-run rule Tuesday in the baseball season opener at Utah Valley University.
Already trailing 7-1, the Buffaloes gave up two runs to start the bottom of the fifth inning. Provo then put together two more RBI doubles to finish off the contest with an 11-1 win.
Provo picked up a run in the first inning, but Tooele responded in the third inning. Zach Jeffers stepped into the box with the bases loaded, and he was hit by a pitch to walk in Brendan Walker. The Buffs didn’t bring in any other runners and left the bases loaded.
Up until the third inning, the Bulldogs hadn’t yet tallied a hit. However, Tooele’s pitchers walked too many batters in the bottom half of that inning, and they found themselves in early pitching jams. With runners on second base and third base, Ryan Tomac balked to send the runner on third home. Then during his windup on the next pitch the ball slipped from his grip for another balk to send the next runner home for a 3-1 Provo lead. The Bulldogs scored their next three runs after a base hit, wild pitch and walk to take a 6-1 lead. The Bulldogs picked up another run in the fourth inning on an RBI single.
The top defensive play for Tooele came in the bottom of the first inning while Tomac was playing in right field. A Provo base runner came in from third base and would have put the Bulldogs ahead 2-0. Tomac gunned down the runner with a throw from right field to record the final out of that inning.
With that tune-up game out of the way for the Buffs, they head to St. George this weekend for the Pizza Hut Classic. They’ll play four games in two days starting with the Dixie Flyers on Friday at 1 p.m. That game will be Dixie’s season opener. The Flyers went 15-9 in 2012 and lost their first two games of the 3A state tournament. The Flyers and Buffs faced each other in the first game of the Pizza Hut Classic last season with the Flyers getting a 3-2 win.
The Buffs also face Bear River in a non-region matchup while in St. George, and they’ll battle Wasatch as well. The final opponent scheduled to face the Buffs in St. George is still to be decided, but the game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday at Dixie High School. Tooele and Wasatch haven’t played against each other since the 2011 Pizza Hut Classic. Tooele won that game in extra innings 5-4.