Utah Pac-12 Preview

The University of Utah’s baseball team has high hopes for a successful season after enduring an array of injuries in 2014 that hampered its coaches and players.

Many questions will be raised about the Utes (4-11) as a host of new freshmen have been added to the team. Even with a solidified team last season, the Utes still struggled to capture wins in close games and suffered a few blowout losses.

The Utes no longer have Mitch Watrous, so junior Bret Helton will step into his place and be the Friday night starter. Helton went 2-4 last season and accumulated 35 strikeouts with an ERA of 4.99.

Another Utes’ pitcher to keep an eye on is freshman Jayson Rose. The California native was first-team all-CIF as a senior at Granite Hills High School, in a season where he posted an 8-0 record.

Junior Dalton Carroll returns after making 11 starts in 2014. He was second in walks allowed last season in the Pac-12 with 11. He went 1-5.

On the offensive side, the Utes welcome back Dalton’s brother, Dallas, who redshirted all of the 2014 season due to a broken collarbone suffered in the first game of the season.

Junior Kody Davis will also be a force on the base paths. He was tied for sixth in the conference last season in stolen bases (12-for-15). He hit .237 with 19 RBIs in 2014.

After suffering a concussion last year and missing a large part of the season, catcher AJ Young will be back to make an impact for the Utes at the plate. He hit .203 last season and also recorded nine RBIs.

Utah’s conference schedule begins today as the Utes travel to Tucson to take on the Arizona Wildcats in a three-game series.