Utah drops three games to Cal

S-Baseball Colby Patterson
Freshman Dylan Drachler watches a ball soar through the air at last week’s game against UVU. Photo by Brent Uberty.

Freshman Dylan Drachler watches a ball soar through the air at last week’s game against UVU. Photo by Brent Uberty.

The Utes’ slump is reaching a dangerous level.

Utah lost three games over the weekend on the road against the Cal Golden Bears, making that seven straight losses for the Utes. To make matters worse, Utah’s latest loss on Sunday afternoon marked the team’s 11th defeat in its past 12 games.

“We’ve had plenty of chances to win a couple of games here on the road, and we just didn’t get it done,” said head coach Bill Kinneberg.

Game one on Friday was a battle that Utah ultimately lost, 4-2. Cal took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning before the Utes stormed back, as freshman Max Schuman drove in two runs to tie things up. The Bears would not be denied, however, as they retook the lead in the bottom of the eighth frame and held it for the victory.

Junior Mitch Watrous pitched 6 two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out five. He was relieved by freshman Dylan Drachler, who allowed two runs.

In the second game on Saturday, the story was eerily similar to Friday’s contest. Both teams scored four runs through three innings, and the score remained tied until Cal hit a home run in the eighth inning, taking a 5-4 lead. Despite it being a slim margin, the lead proved to be too much for Utah to overcome.

Senior Zach Adams pitched 5 two-third innings before being replaced by senior Tanner Banks, who pitched two one-third innings and recorded one strikeout while giving up one hit and one run. He was credited with the loss and dropped to 1-4 on the year. Utah’s offensive struggles were again on display, as it only managed five hits.

As if things couldn’t get more frustrating, Sunday’s contest was the icing on that bad cake. The Utes finally got some runs, but still fell 8-7.

Utah opened up a 2-0 lead after three frames, but the Bears scored four in their half of that inning. The Utes scored four runs in the fifth to retake the lead but Cal made some crucial plays in the sixth and seventh innings to steal the victory.

Senior infielder TJ Bennett had the best day at bat for Utah with two hits and an RBI. Konnor Armijo also batted in two runs.

“We had the lead in a couple of games,” Kinneberg said. “It’s disappointing that we’re coming home without a win.”

The Utes moved their conference record to 0-9 and will return home to play Arizona this weekend in a three-game series.

i.smith@chronicle.utah.edu