Over the past six games, the Bears have dominated their opponents with a 5-1 record, outsourcing them 64-31 runs.
Sophomore Andres Galan took the mound to start for the Bears, last pitching against Nevada on April 10, where he shut out the Wolf Pack bats over six innings while only allowing four hits and nine strikeouts.
Galan struggled in the first inning, allowing five singles and a walk that scored three runs. The error made by sophomore shortstop Carson Crawford did not help, but Galan was able to finish the inning by striking out junior left fielder Logan Azem in three pitches.
The Dons’ lead would only last that half inning, as the Bears responded with runs of their own in the bottom half of the first inning.
Dons’ starter, freshman Gabriel Barrett started the game with a leadoff home run to junior designated hitter Max Handron, followed by two consecutive singles to sophomore catcher Caleb Lomavita and center fielder Rodney Green Jr.
After Barrett loaded the bases by walking Crawford, senior left felder Nathan Manning cleared the bases with a three-run triple after senior Harris Williams III misread the ball.
Manning scored the next at-bat after graduate student Dom Souto hit a sacrifice fly to cap the Bears’ five-run inning.
Galan kept the Bears rolling by pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the second and fourth inning.
Senior Joe Williams came in to relieve Galan in the top of the sixth inning, pitching a 1-2-3 inning of his own. Freshman Jack Kirrer followed suit to the other two Bears pitchers as he dominated the Dons’ hitters, only walking senior designated hitter Michael Campagna before ending the game by striking out senior pinch hitter Darius Foster.
While the pitchers controlled the game, it was the blue and gold offense that ultimately dominated.
Cal scored 11 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, highlighted by home runs from Lomavita and fifth-year senior Kade Kretzschmar.
Kretzschmar, who won multiple honors for his recent contributions — including the Pac-12 Player of the Week and the Dick Howser National Trophy Players of the Week honor, to name a few — hit a home run earlier in the bottom of the 3rd inning as well.
“I haven’t seen anybody that hot in a long time,” said head coach Mike Neu. “Hopefully he can keep it going, but it’s been really impressive.”
Kretzschmar, who transferred this season from Dartmouth College, has been a vital part of the Bears’ recent hot streak, batting a .754 average with 15 hits and 10 RBIs this past week.
As the Bears were leading by more than 10 runs in the seventh inning stretch, the game concluded via the mercy rule. Galan picked up his third win of the season, while Barrett got his second loss.
The Bears’ recent success will be tested this weekend as they host the Oregon Ducks for a three-game conference series.
Unlike the Utes, who rank last in the Pac-12, Oregon has a winning overall record of 24-11, conference record of 9-6 and rank fourth. The Bears still rank second to last in Pac-12 standings due to their disappointing conference record of 5-13.
The Ducks enter Friday’s game on a two-game losing streak, but from a series win against No. 7 Stanford where they took two out of the three this past weekend.
Despite an intimidating opponent, Kretzschmar believes the recent wins provide a morale boost to the team as it begins to play the final regular-season games before the Pac-12 tournament in late May.
First pitch for Friday’s game will be at 7:05 p.m.