At this point, it’s almost becoming comical. Cal has faced a game where a loss would send them home five times this year; they’ve won all five of those games. This win, over a #1 seed in Texas A&M, came behind the back of a freshmen and the bottom of the line-up.
Kyle Porter and Michael Wacha were locked in a pitcher’s duel in the early going, as neither team could break through in the first three innings. Wacha, in particular, looked dominating, striking out four in the first four innings. Porter was efficient, but showed the first crack in the armor in the fourth inning. Adam Smith, the Aggie third basemen, took him deep to left field and gave Texas A&M a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Smith would pay back the Bears for the damage he did to them. To open the inning, Smith misplayed and then chucked the ball past the first base, allowing Chad Bunting to advance to second. Darrel Matthews would follow with a single, and then “the best nine hitter in the country” Derek Campbell would hit another one (which was misplayed into a double) to drive in two, and give the Golden Bears a 2-1 lead. A bunt would move him up, and Renda sac fly would give the Bears a 3-1 lead in the fifth.
Cal would continue their offensive output, with Mitch Delfino, Bunting, and Campbell all driving in runs to make the lead 6-1. Porter would struggle a little bit in the sixth, but he got himself out of a jam with the lead intact (but shortened) at 6-3. Renda would come in to score on a Devon Rodriguez single in the seventh to extend the lead to 7-3.
Matt Flemer would come in the seventh, and got the old-fashioned three inning save. The Aggies never got a runner to second base on him, and the junior struck out 5 in his stint. He maintained the 7-3 lead and got the save. The only question remaining is his availability for the game on Thursday.
The Bears have done it again, and today they did it without burning a member of their regular rotation. I don’t have an update on Justin Jones’ status, but if he can pitch on Thursday I like our chances. Our offense is clicking from top to bottom, and as long as that happens we’re a very dangerous team. We’ve seen them shut up; Danny Hultzen did a fine job showing them that they’re not perfect. But we have the pitching, and we if we get continued excellence from our offense we’re in fine shape.
Cal is staying alive yet again, knocking out Texas A&M. Next up is either a date with South Carolina or a rematch with Virginia. Who knows what will happen, but as long as this team is alive they will keep it entertaining. Go Bears!