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Saturday, September 30, 2023


UH baseball wins one of three against Cal to open season

UH baseball went 1-2 in its three-game season-opening series against Cal over the weekend. | Raphael Fernandez/The Cougar

UH baseball went 1-2 in its three-game season-opening series against Cal over the weekend. | Raphael Fernandez/The Cougar

After dropping its first two games to Cal, UH baseball salvaged its season-opening series with a win on Sunday, going 1-2 on the weekend.

Here is a closer look at each game:

Game 1

The Cougars dropped their season opener 7-0 to Cal on Friday night.

Cal’s sophomore starting pitcher Ian May earned the win, tossing eight shutout innings.

After retiring Cal in order the first time through the lineup, UH starter Cade Citelli ran into trouble in the fourth, issuing two walks and allowing three hits resulting in a 3-0 Golden Bears lead.

Citelli, who gave up three earned runs over four innings, took the loss.

Cal tacked on three more runs in the top of the fifth courtesy of Rodney Green Jr.’s three-run jack to right center. The Golden Bears added another insurance run in the seventh on a solo shot from catcher Caleb Lomovita.

Junior first baseman Alex Lopez had two of the Cougars’ three hits on the night.

Game 2

Despite a home run-saving catch at the centerfield wall by graduate outfielder Drew Bianco and a two-run rally to tie the game in the eighth, UH fell to Cal for a second straight game on Saturday night. 

Senior southpaw Kyle LaCalameto got the start for the Cougars and had a strong season debut, throwing 5 2/3 innings of one-run baseball.

Both ball clubs held each other scoreless until the top of the sixth when Cal took a 1-0 advantage on an RBI double. The Cougars quickly responded in the bottom half as senior right fielder Brandon Uhse tied it up with a solo shot to left. 

The Golden Bears answered back with a two-spot in the seventh to make it 3-1. Once again, UH answered as senior shortstop Ian McMillan doubled with two runners on to equalize it at 3-3 in the eighth. 

In the top of the ninth Cal’s Carson Crawford struck a double to the gap in left-center which proved to be the winning run, as UH couldn’t punch back in the home half of the inning, losing 5-3.

UH senior left-hander Jose Torrealba took the loss, giving up two runs in 2/3rds of an inning pitched.

Game 3 

Sophomore second baseman Brandon Burckel drove in three runs on three hits to help UH avoid the sweep on Sunday, defeating Cal 8-6.

Cal started off the game with a bang, tallying two runs on three hits, including two doubles in the top of the first. 

Burckel pushed across two runs off his bat with an RBI double in the second to tie the game. 

Burckel struck again in the fourth with another RBI double to score another run. Sophomore outfielder Cameron Nickens added an RBI single to score Burckel and give UH a 4-3 lead. 

Cal scored two in the top of the sixth off of three consecutive hits to start the inning, taking a 5-4 lead.

The Cougar bats woke up in the seventh and eighth and did not look back, scoring a total of four runs to avoid the sweep and come away with a win in the series finale.

Torrealba earned the win, recording the game’s final four outs.

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