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UIT Spring Party recap: Salt Lake Bees game a home run

UIT employees watch the ballgame from their seats in the stands.

UIT employees watch the ballgame from their seats in the stands. Photos by Jesse Drake

UIT employees fill their plates at the build-your-own burger and hot dog buffet.

UIT employees fill their plates at the build-your-own burger and hot dog buffet.

Under the shade of the Vista Deck at Smith’s Ballpark, a buzz began to build as UIT employees greeted each other and formed a line for lunch. Not only were they on a much-deserved break from work, but the weather couldn’t be better, making May 3, 2023, a pitch-perfect day for a Salt Lake Bees ballgame — and the annual UIT Spring Party.

About 175 UIT employees attended, including Digital Learning Technologies (DLT) staff who (re)joined UIT on May 1 after the reorganization of University Connected Learning.

The event featured a build-your-own burger and hot dog buffet with baked beans, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, soda, and watermelon, catered and staffed by Smith’s Ballpark. Servers also retrieved veggie burgers and stuffed bell peppers for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and other guests as requested.

After filling their plates, many Bees fans and sports enthusiasts settled at the counter overlooking the field, allowing them to eat and watch the game between the Salt Lake Bees and Tacoma Rainiers, Pacific Coast League West rivals. Others found seats at tables in the center of the deck, where they could socialize with their colleagues. After lunch, many guests drifted down to their seats in the stands — just in time for the thrilling conclusion to the game.

In the second contest against the Rainiers in a six-game series, the Bees came alive in late innings to claim a 7-2 victory. Veteran pitcher Cesar Valdez allowed two runs over seven innings, with Jhonathan Diaz and Jacob Webb coming out of the bullpen to combine for two shutout innings. Salt Lake’s offense plated three runs in the fifth inning off a 470-foot home run to center field to break a scoreless tie. The home run by outfielder Jo Adell was his 12th of the year, which, at the time, was the most of any player in professional baseball for the 2023 season. The Bees followed up with a four-run eighth inning. Ultimately, the home team took the series four games to two.

As the fans cleared the stands and the party came to an end, some guests described the event as the best UIT spring party ever. “We should do this every year!”

Thank you to the following people who pitched in to help make the party successful:

  • Volunteers: Aimee Ellett, Tammy Mabey, and Jeff Shuckra
  • Party planning and management: Cassandra Van Buren, Jesse Drake, Patrick Harris, and Larrisa Turner

And thanks to all UIT employees for the many important contributions you make, every day, to support the University of Utah community and our shared strategic goals.

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Last Updated: 5/31/23