Gulden’s Walk-Off Homer Lifts Utah Baseball to 6-5 Win Over USC

Published on May 15, 2017 at 11:55PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Wade Gulden hit a two-run, walk-off home run to lift the Utah baseball team to a 6-5 victory over USC on Monday evening, giving the Utes the series sweep against the Trojans.

Down 5-4 entering the bottom of the ninth, Dallas Carroll led off the inning with a single to right field. A sacrifice bunt from Hunter Simmons moved Carroll into scoring position. After a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Gulden battled to a full count, fouling off six pitches, before driving one over the right field fence for the win.

It is Utah’s second series sweep of the season. The Utes also swept nationally-ranked Arizona earlier this year.

Gulden went 3-for-4 to lead Utah at the plate, driving in three of the Utes six runs and scoring twice. Oliver Dunn and Carroll each had two hits on the night.

Tanner Thomas earned the win on the mound after throwing the top of the ninth. Dylan Drachler, who returned to the mound after suffering an injury against Arizona, threw four strong innings, allowing four hits with three strikeouts. Josh Lapiana earned the start and pitched four innings with two strikeouts.

Utah took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Zack Moeller and Gulden hit back-to-back doubles for the first run of the game. Josh Rose hit a solo home run deep to right field to give the Utes a 2-0 lead. The Trojans issued three walks to load the bases for Carroll, who hit a well-placed infield single to third to score another run and put Utah up 3-0.

Each team scored a run in the third. A single and a walk led to a two-out RBI double for USC. In the bottom of the inning, Gulden hit his second double of the day with one out and scored on Ellis Kelly’s RBI single, giving Utah a 4-1 advantage.

USC took the lead in the fourth inning, scoring four runs on four hits. A pair of singles led to a two-RBI triple and the Trojans cleared the bases with a two-run home run for a 5-4 lead.

Both teams struggled with runners left on base as the game continued, with the Utes leaving 10 on and USC stranding eight.

Utah hits the road this weekend for a three-game series against UCLA, beginning on Friday, May 19.