SALT LAKE CITY – After falling behind 2-0 early, the Cal baseball team stormed back to clinch its first Pac-12 series victory of the season, beating Utah 11-8 in game three of the series on Sunday at Smith’s Ballpark.
Cal (16-16, 5-13 Pac-12) moves ahead of Utah in the Pac-12 standings after taking two of three from the Utes. On Sunday, the Golden Bears pounded out 11 more runs and 13 hits. Kade Kretzschmar wrapped up his phenomenal week by going 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three driven in. He was a triple short of the cycle, hitting a double and a home run. The home run was his eighth of the season. Kretzschmar hit .769 for the series (10-for-13) raising his average by almost 100 points to .319 on the year.
Kretzschmar was one of three players for the Bears to collect three hits on the day, the others being Caleb Lomavita and Dom Souto. Lomavita went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two doubles in his return to the lineup, and Souto was 3-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI. Carson Crawford went 2-for-6 with a double and two RBI. Peyton Schulze was 1-for-5 with two runs batted in.
Utah (13-21-1, 4-13-1 Pac-12) finished the afternoon with eight runs on 12 hits. The Utes scored the game’s opening runs, scoring two in the second. They added two more in the fourth, two in the sixth, and one in the seventh and eighth inning. Kai Roberts led the home team, going 2-for-5 with two RBI. He was one of four players for Utah to collect multiple hits.
With the game tied 4-4 in the top of the fifth inning, Cal was able to take the lead for good thanks to a four-run inning. Rodney Green Jr. led off the frame with a walk. He moved up 90 feet after swiping his 24th stolen base of the season and came around to score on the RBI double by Kretzschmar. Kretzschmar scored the sixth run of the game on an RBI single by Schulze, his 29th RBI of the season. Cal added two more runs when Lomavita scored on a wild pitch and Souto knocked in Schulze with a single through the right side.
Connor Sullivan (2-2) earned the win. He matched his career-high by going 5.1 innings, allowing seven hits, six earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts. Sophomore Tucker Bougie came into the game in the bottom of the eighth and got the final four outs of the contest to earn his second save of the season.
Taking the loss for Utah was relief pitcher Jaden Harris (1-3). He came into the game in the third inning and could not get out of the fifth. He went two-plus innings, surrendering three hits and four runs (all earned) with two walks.
Cal returns to the Bay Area for four games. They open the week on Tuesday, hosting Bay Area rival USF. The first pitch between the Bears and Dons is 6:05 pm and will be streamed on the Cal Live Stream. The following weekend the Oregon Ducks come to Berkeley for a three-game Pac-12 series.