With the toughest stretch of their season coming up, it was incredibly important for the Bears to pick up at least 3 wins in 4 tries against Oregon and Santa Clara. It wasn’t easy, but the Bears got the job by taking 2 out of 3 from the Ducks and the single game from Santa Clara. Here’s how:
In game 1, it was a battle between a pair of aces, Erik Johnson and Tyler Anderson. The pair traded 1 run performances, but the game was decided in the ninth when both had exited. With runners on first and second, and one out in the ninth, coach Dave Esquer sent freshman left handed pinch hitter Michael Theofanopoulos to the plate. He lined a walk-off run scoring double to earn an opening 2-1 victory over Oregon.
The Saturday game proved to be the only loss for the Bears, as Justin Jones took the tough-luck loss. Madison Boer and the Oregon pitching staff skirted trouble in the eighth, as Devon Rodriguez lined out with two in scoring position and two outs. That was pretty much the game, as Cal struggled to muster offense. Tony Renda and Danny Oh were the top hitters with 3 for 4 days.
In the rubber match of the series, Cal dug themselves a 4-0 lead before the bottom of the second even happened. Kevin Miller and Matt Flemer would deliver 7.2 innings of shutout baseball, so it was up to the bats. They came through. With the score tied at 4-4 after an eighth inning crazy play that involved a throwing error to score the tying run, Austin Booker stepped to the plate with Marcus Semien on second. A close play at the plate had Semien scoring, and a 5-4 victory in the Bears hands.
Freshman lefty Kyle Porter got the nod against Santa Clara. He pitched well, going 5 innings and only giving up a single run. The offense only got 4 runs, but that turned out to be enough as Porter and the bullpen pitched terrifically in a 4-1 victory.
#3 Oregon State is up next. The stakes are high, and it’s not going to be easy. This is statement time for this Bear team. Win the series, and prove you’re truly a team to be reckoned with. Go Bears!