March 15, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah baseball team fell to California in its home opener, 9-5 on Friday evening.
Utah erased a 4-0 Cal lead with a five-run sixth inning, giving the Utes a 5-4 lead. However, the Utes couldn't hold on in the final three frames, as the Golden Bears scored two runs in the seventh and three runs in the eighth.
Mitch Watrous allowed five runs on eight hits with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings on the mound. Chase Rezac pitched one inning, allowing four runs (one earned) on four hits. He falls to 0-2 on the year with the loss. Nick Green pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing no hits with a strikeout.
"Mitch really battled," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "I didn't think he was as sharp as he's been, but he battled and got out of some scrapes with some good pitches. We hit the ball harder at people today, and our at-bats for the most part were pretty good. What was discouraging for me was our execution, which we have to be really good at. We were 0-for-2 in hit-and-runs, we made some bad base running mistakes. We didn't get some sacrifice bunts down. Those should be 100% for us, and we've worked really hard on that. We want to take pride in winning the last three innings, and we didn't do that today."
Cal took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after a home run off the bat of Devon Rodriguez, and took a 3-0 lead in the fourth scoring two runs on three-straight hits and a sacrifice fly. The Bears added to their lead in the sixth inning after three-straight singles led to a run.
Utah's five-run sixth inning started when Davis beat out a ball that took a generous bounce for an infield single. It was the start of the next six batters reaching base. Tyler Yagi and TJ Bennett each singled to load the bases, and Davis scored on a wild pitch. Dallas Carroll walked to again load the bases for Nielsen, who hit an RBI single to right field. Connor Eppard followed with an RBI single and two runs scored on Armijo's single up the middle before Cal got out of the inning with a double play.
A pair of RBI doubles after a hit batter led to two runs in the seventh for Cal. The Golden Bears increased their lead in the eighth with three runs on two hits, and taking advantage of a Utah error.
Utah and Cal play game two of the series at 3:00 p.m. MT. at Spring Mobile Ballpark. Click here for a Free Admission Coupon.