Opportunities to host premier teams are rare, so this series against Arizona State represented a big chance to bolster their NCAA Tournament resume. The #9 team in the country doesn’t come around every week, so getting at least one win (or more) was crucial. Instead, the Sun Devils took all 3 games of the series and sent the Bears out of the series without a victory.
In game 1, the Bears played a 17 inning thriller that was the second longest game in school history. The Bears quickly fell behind 2-0, but afterwards Erik Johnson got into his groove. Those would be the only runs he would give up all day, and the Bears got two runs in regulation to force extras. ASU and Cal would swap runs in the 10th and the 13th to force more innings, and then Cal’s bullpen depth ran thin. Sparsely used Louie Lechich would give up a pair of runs after walking four, and the Sun Devils took a hard fought 6-4 win.
As it often happens when a game runs long, the losing team comes away drained. In the following two games, the Bears scored a grand total of 0 runs. A 5-0 loss on Friday and a 6-0 one on Friday provide little inspiration moving forward. There was some extra-curricular material, as apparently many of Cal’s coaching staff was kicked out during Saturday’s game. At least they weren’t going down without a fight; that’s more than the offense can say.
Any series where you get swept has to be a disappointment, especially when it’s a chance to get a victory over a top 10 team. There will be no break; a midweek game against Stanford awaits, followed by a showdown with Oregon in Berkeley. Go Bears!