When Gary Henderson was a junior pitcher at San Diego State in 1983, the University of Utah coach can remember one particular late-February game played in Las Vegas against Fresno State.
The game featured, of all things, two wind delays, and ultimately ended with 46 total runs scored.
It took Henderson more than 40 years to see something that matched that wild night.
Utah on Tuesday night won at BYU, 29-14, in a game that took 3:30 hours to complete. There were 34 combined hits, two different Utes registering seven RBI, and four different Utes homering, while the 29 runs represent the program’s single-game record in the Pac-12-era, which dates back to 2011.
Utah had 20 hits on the night, a fact made crazier by arguably the weirdest factoid of the night, which was not lost on Henderson.
“We scored our first six runs without a hit, so there’s some craziness right there,” Henderson said.
Henderson pointed out that there were big numbers put up across college baseball on Tuesday. That is likely fueled by some combination of weather, midweek pitching, and hitters having a lot of at-bats under their belt at this point, but nothing in college baseball on Tuesday matched Utah-BYU.
The Utes scored three first-inning runs on the strength of three walks and two other batters getting hit by a pitch. Their three runs in the second came on an error, a groundout, and a sacrifice fly.
Eventually, though, there were hits.
Redshirt senior first baseman Jayden Kiernan went 4-for-6 with 7 RBIs and his first career grand slam while scoring five times. Second baseman Bruer Webster had four hits, while left fielder Karson Bodily had three more.
“At the end of four, yeah, we had 14 runs, so that’s what type of night it was going to be,” Henderson said.
In the end, Utah’s team batting average shot up 23 points to .284, good for seventh in the Pac-12.
“Our quality at-bats, 100%,” Kiernan said when asked what stood out the most from such an unorthodox game. “We’ve been really focusing on doing things right, how we can each do a quality job for our team, and we all did a really good job of that last night.”
What happens next will be interesting as Utah now travels to Arizona for a critical three-game series at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson. The top-nine teams in the conference qualify for the Pac-12 Tournament. The last-place Utes are currently one game behind 10th-place Arizona in the loss column and three behind ninth-place Washington State.