Josh Alexander had two hits for the Utes.
April 20, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. - The Utah baseball team fell behind against California early in a 9-4 loss to the Bears on Friday evening.
Cal was buoyed by the long ball, hitting three homers in the game.
On the mound, Utah starter Joe Pond earned the loss after allowing six runs in his 2 2/3 innings. Tanner Tripp surrendered three runs in his 4 2/3 innings while Kesley Kondo threw part of the eighth inning.
Cal got on the board with a three-run second, which included a two-run home run from Chad Bunting. The Utes got a run back in the top of the third on an RBI single from Nielsen after Brooks walked to lead off the inning. Despite subsequent hits from Jo Jo Sharrar and Alexander it was the only run the Utes could come away with, leaving the bases loaded to end the inning.
The Golden Bears continued to pull away, adding three runs to the board in the third after home runs from Andrew Knapp and Bunting (his second of the day). Bunting also sent across a run in the bottom of the fourth after an RBI bunt single on a suicide squeeze, giving Cal a 7-1 lead.
The Utes began a rally in the sixth inning, with three-straight one-out singles from Alexander, Ethan Leiter and Hunt to load the bases. Relf walked to send across a run before Brooks hit a sacrifice fly to score Leiter to put two runs on the board. Shaun Cooper kept the momentum going in the top of the seventh with a home run over the left field fence, and although Nielsen kept the Utes going with a double he would be stranded on base with the score 7-4.
Bunting went 3-for-4 on the day with five RBI to lead Cal at the plate. Michael Theofanopoulos earned the win with Scott Logan picking up a save.
The Utes and Bears continue their three-game series on Saturday, April 21, at 1:00 p.m. PT.