SALT LAKE CITY — Utah baseball coach Bill Kinneberg summed up the current season in five words: “It is what it is.”
It’s been a tough campaign for the Utes. They got off to a 1-13 start while Kinneberg served a suspension after the university self-reported impermissible practices and coaching activities to the NCAA. Injuries also took a toll on a young squad that lost 12 players from 2017, including four that were taken in the MLB draft.
“We knew we were in a transition year. That was expected,” Kinneberg said. “Now, with all that has happened, we didn’t expect all of this. But we knew we were going to be young and be inexperienced. As a staff we knew this was going to be a tough year.”
Utah enters its final homestand of the season — this weekend against Washington — with an overall record of 14-35. The Utes are last in the Pac-12 with a 6-18 conference mark.
“It is what it is,” Kinneberg said. “I mean we didn’t play well enough to win enough games.”
This has happened to the Utes before, Kinneberg noted, adding that they’re in a “very hard league.”
Prior to winning the Pac-12 title in 2016, Utah went 25-94-1 in conference play — finishing in the cellar in each of its first four seasons in the league. The Utes then claimed the championship with a 19-11 mark. They tied for fifth at 15-15 a year ago.
The drop that has followed is something Kinneberg said the program has to accept and move on from.
“It’s been tough,” he acknowledged.
Injuries began to mount after starting catcher Zack Moeller, a junior, was sidelined with Tommy John surgery in February. The veteran was second on the team in 2017 with five homers and 11 doubles. He was third in slugging percentage (.429).
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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News