Austin Byler had a week to remember.
The performance by Byler further established him as one of the top power hitters on the west coast. Over the past seven games, starting with a doubleheader last Saturday (March 2) against Holy Cross at Peccole Park, Byler has terrorized opposing pitchers. He is 14-for-27 over the seven games (.519) with 10 runs scored, three doubles, a triple, six home runs and 20 RBI.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound left-hander from Peoria, Ariz., now leads the Wolf Pack or is tied for the lead in just about every offensive category: average (.414), runs (15), hits (24), doubles (four), triples (three), home runs (six) RBI (23) and slugging (.897).
Against the Wolverines on Saturday, Byler crushed a three-run homer in the fifth inning for a 7-0 Pack lead and a two-run shot in the eighth for a 9-2 advantage.
The beneficiary of Byler's slugging on Saturday with sophomore left-hander Tyler Wells. Wells, who had a shutout into the seventh inning, pitched 6.2 innings and allowed five hits, a walk and two runs while striking out nine to earn the victory. Wells, now 3-0, has a 3.32 earned run average after four starts this season.
The Pack gave Wells a 3-0 lead with three unearned runs in the second inning. Ryan Teel brought home Tommy Niebergall and Lance Berringer with a two-out triple off Wolverine starter Andrew Freter and Suan Mize followed with a run-scoring double to bring home Teel.
The Pack added four runs in the fifth, three on Byler's homer. The first run of the inning came home on a run-scoring single by Scott Kaplan. Kaplan's two-out hit scored Jamison Rowe, who was hit by a pitch with two outs and stole second.
Byler's second homer of the day came with no outs in the eighth. Kewby Meyer began the inning with a double and Byler followed with his sixth homer of the year. Byler now has more homers and RBI than he did all of his freshman year when he had four home runs and 22 RBI over 51 games.
Daniel Levine and Colby Blueberg pitched the final 2.1 innings for the Pack. Blueberg tossed a scoreless ninth despite allowing a hit and a walk.
The Wolf Pack improved to 10-6 with the win and Utah Valley fell to 7-8. The Pack will play at UC Davis on Tuesday (2:30 p.m.) before returning to Peccole Park on Friday to open its first Mountain West three-game series against Air Force.