The University of Utah baseball team took on the California Golden Bears on a sunny weekend in Salt Lake City.
The weekend didn’t start the way Utah had hoped, as Cal got off to an early 3-0 lead in the second inning. The Golden Bears tacked on five more runs in the fourth inning to put the Utes in a deeper hole at 8-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Utah offense finally started to settle in. Shea Kramer reached on an error to start the scoring, driving in Rykker Tom. The next batter was Zack Moeller, who double scored Erick Migueles. The Utes finished cutting Cal’s lead in half off a Jayden Kiernan single which brought home both Kramer and Moeller.
The fans got a good laugh in between the seventh and the eighth inning as the sprinklers came on. Although they delayed the game for a few minutes, the grounds crew were quick to dry the mound and get back to baseball.
Unfortunately, the sprinklers didn’t rain down luck, as the Utes couldn’t get anything going the rest of the night. California took Game 1 from Utah 8-4.
Seven Utes combined for one hit while Kiernan led the team with two RBIs. Nick Caviglia came in for relief in the fourth inning and finished the game, going 5.2 innings with 4 strikeouts.
A lead late in the game wasn’t enough for the Utes to hold off the Golden Bears as Cal knocked off Utah 6-4.
Two runs came across in the second inning for the Utes as Briley Knight and Chase Fernlund crossed the plate. Cal came right back in the next half inning, however, tying the game in the top of the third.
A sacrifice fly put the Utes ahead 3-2 before Cal knotted things up once again in the fourth.
Utah scored a run to take the lead in the seventh inning off Knight’s single to right field. Cal continued their unwavering effort tying the game before a two-run blast put the final stamp on the night.
Kramer led the team going 4-5 at the plate while Knight’s 2 RBI tied his career high. Joshua Tedeschi had a strong outing, going 5.1 innings with three strikeouts.
Game 3 wasn’t close, as California hit a season high with five home runs against the Utes.
Andrew Vaughn, the nation’s Golden Spikes winner from last season had a monster game with two home runs and 5 RBI. Vaughn started the day’s scoring with a fielders choice off Oliver Dunn’s glove. He would homer for the first time in the third and for the second time in the fourth to lead the way for Cal.
Utah was able to get two runs in the third when Migueles singled to right field, driving in Matt Richardson. Moeller would also single one batter later to score Dunn.
The Utes were also able to get four more across in the fifth. Moeller started things by singling to drive Dunn home from second. With the bases loaded later in the inning, Knight doubled to score three, bringing the score to 11-6 in favor of Cal.
Cal added two in the sixth and seventh innings to add some insurance runs to their lead and putting the dagger on the Utes afternoon.
The Golden Bears earned the win over Utah 13-6 to finish the series sweep.
After the game, head coach Bill Kinneberg said, “We didn’t play a complete game in any phase. We had a lot of opportunities to score runs that we didn’t cash in on. That’s a good hitting ball club, but we didn’t pitch extremely well either. Too many baserunners and too many opportunities that they had. We’ll get back to work on Tuesday, then head to Washington and see if we can get things going again.”
Moeller led the Utes with three hits while Dunn led the team with two runs scored.
Evaluating the team’s performance, Dunn said, “It was a tough weekend for us. We showed some fight coming back a few times, but its obviously not what we wanted. It’s been one inning that we’ve let slip away a lot and that’s what happened this weekend. We need to compete for all nine instead of eight of the nine.”
Next Week’s Matchup:
The Utes will travel to Seattle, Washington to take on the Washington Huskies in a three-game series. Games will be on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. You can get live stats at utahutes.com as well as watch the game on Pac-12 Networks.