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Cal drops three straight to Pitt in nonconference play

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MAY 02, 2023

On the surface, a three-game series against Pitt in non-conference play may have seemed of little importance for Cal baseball. For the Bears however, it was a critical opportunity to bolster its overall record and revitalize a season going downhill.

Nonetheless, Cal failed to capitalize, stumbling to three losses on the bounce against the Panthers to bring the team’s overall record to 18-22. In Pac-12 play, the Bears are 6-15, anchoring the last place spot.

Friday saw Cal lose 6-14 in the series opener. The Panthers scored first in the bottom of the first inning, which proved to be a trend throughout the entire weekend. Sophomore Caleb Lomavita’s two-run blast in the top of third gave the Bears a brief lead, but Pitt answered right back with three of its own. This was followed by a seven-run Panthers’ flurry in the eighth inning, which ultimately shut down a possible comeback.

On the mound, starting pitcher Christian Becerra threw four innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out a career-high seven batters.

At the plate, Lomavita went 3-5 with two runs and two RBIs, while Peyton Schulze had a season-high three hits, which included his sixth home run of the season.

Saturday was a much closer game, as Cal fell 3-5, mainly due to a four-run sixth inning by Pitt.

Paulshawn Pasqualotto was a bright spot on the team. The junior threw four strong innings while allowing just one earned run and striking out six.

The Bears managed to get on the board in the top of the seventh inning with three runs, thanks to a double and three singles. Nathan Manning batted in Carson Crawford and then circled the bases with Dom Souto from Max Handron’s two-RBI single.

That late rally was not enough, as the blue and gold could not recover from the four runs they gave up in the sixth frame.

Sunday saw the Panthers draw first blood once again, as Pitt drove in ten runs in the first three innings. Pitcher Connor Sullivan struggled to put away hitters, allowing 11 hits and four earned runs in his three innings of work. The bullpen, however, came in for relief and threw five innings of shutout baseball, giving the Bears’ offense its chance to come back.

Offensively, it was Kretzschmar who continued to swing a hot bat, as he went 3-5 in his 12th multi-hit game in April. He was joined by Schulze and Souto, who both contributed two hits.

Cal comes out of the weekend further entrenched in its slump, as the blue and gold are in the midst of a five game losing streak.

The Bears will head to Santa Clara to face the Broncos on Tuesday, followed by the resumption of Pac-12 play against UCLA, Washington State and Washington. These games will truly decide whether or not Cal will join the top nine teams in Arizona for the Pac-12 Baseball Tournament slated for late May.

Contact Julian Hyunbin Rhim at 


MAY 02, 2023