BERKELEY - Sophomore catcher Mitchell Kranson hit a towering two-run double in the eigth inning to lead Cal baseball to its first Pac-12 win of the season with a 4-2 victory over Utah Friday night (March 28) at Evans Diamond.
Senior right-hander reliever Trevor Hildenberger (1-1) earned the win by pitching the final 2.1 innings with two hits, one run, no walks and two strikeouts.
Kranson was involved in a play at home plate that helped Utah score two runs in the top of the eighth inning. The Utes' Max Schuman hit a single to left field to score Cody Scaggari and Branden Anderson to tie the game, 2-2. Anderson had knocked the ball out of Kranson's glove to score the tying run, but Hildenberger was able to fetch the loose ball and throw Schuman out at second base.
Kranson was able to give Cal back the lead after Brenden Farney got on base with a bunt single and advanced to second base on Kody Davis' throwing error. Then after the Bears' Chris Paul was intentionally walked, Kranson hit his double to center field off of Utah reliever Nick Green.
Farney has now hit safely in 15 of 17 games this season. Cal got a solid pitching effort from freshman starter Daulton Jefferies, who threw 7.1 innings with three hits, one run, two walks and six strikeouts.
The Bears had scored single runs in the fifth and seventh innings on RBI singles up the middle by sophomore right fielder Brian Celsi.
Cal will next host Utah in the second game of the three game conference series, Saturday, March 29 at 7 p.m. at Evans Diamond. The contest will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.