This game will be defined by three things. One is home runs; another is Justin Jones; and the final one is California being just one victory away from a trip to Omaha. Dallas Baptist, in all honesty, did not look like they belonged on the same field as the Golden Bears.
Justin Jones took the ball in a bit of a surprise move, and made the Patriots look foolish. The usual patient Dallas Baptist swung repeatedly at pitches out of the zone, and it resulted in three strikeouts, but only one hit against the lefthander. Despite the dominating showing, he left in the seventh inning due to a bicep injury. The ice was off by the end of the game, so it sounds like it wasn’t too serious of an injury. He pitched marvelously despite the injury.
Home runs haven’t been the Bears forte all year, but it sure carried the team today. Chad Bunting got the festivities started with a three run shot in the second that carried over the left field fence. That put Cal up 3-0, and they wouldn’t need more. It doesn’t mean they didn’t get more. Marcus Semien joined Bunting with another three home run, his in the eighth inning. His was an absolute bomb into left, and it put the Bears up 7-0. The fourth run came after Marcus Semien tripled in the sixth, and Devon Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly.
Logan Scott came in the seventh after Jones was hurt, and earned the three inning save. He also preserved the shutout and the 7-0 victory. Dallas Baptist had just 3 hits today, and their usual patient approach only netted 1 walk. The pitchers gameplan seemed to be attack early and watch them take it. It worked, as the Bears were able to get ahead all day long.
It’s impossible to take too much from one game, but it sure looked like the Bears were the superior team, and it wasn’t even close. Even when the Bears were retired, the outs were loud and nearly left the ballpark. On the other side, Dallas Baptist’s potent offense frequently looked punchless and overmatched. As I said, you can’t take much away from a one game sample but the proceedings look to be in the Bears favor.
The Bears are now just one victory away from a spot in Omaha. They’ll get the Patriots best pitcher in Stafford, but Cal answers with ace and second round draft pick Erik Johnson. The game will be at 7 PM PST and on ESPNU. Go Bears!