Baylor downs Cal, Golden Bears on brink of elimination


Just a few months ago, Cal looked like a potential Top 10 team. Now, they’ve dropped to a #3 seed and have lost their opener to Baylor in the NCAA Tournament. Whatever the reason, this team is in the midst of a major slide and the end of it needs to happen now or their season will be over. A 6-4 loss to Baylor has Cal playing for their lives.

Erik Johnson has been a terrific pitcher for 3 years, but he picked the wrong time to have his worst start of the year. Johnson only lasted 2.1 innings, and gave up 5 runs on the game. His control completely abandoned him, with 6 walks. No matter how good your stuff is, it’s tough to overcome walks and Johnson couldn’t.

The relief corps pitched well, as Logan Scott, Joey Donofrio, and Matt Flemer kept the game in reach. 1 run in 5.2 innings is solid work from anybody, but getting it from your bullpen (and especially from Donofrio) was big for the Golden Bears.

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Baylor took a 6-0 lead after 3 innings, but seemed to let off the gas pedal afterwards. The Bears got a run in the seventh, and then had a big rally in the eighth. With 3 runs already in to make it 6-4, Chad Bunting tried scoring on a Devon Rodriguez base hit. But as has been the case often this year, poor base running cost the team dearly as Bunting was gunned at the plate. The rally and inning ended, but the game was not over. With the Baylor closer Garner on the hill, the Bears got the tying run on first but Renda flew out to end the 6-4 loss for the Bears.

Chadd Krist led the offense with a 3 for 4 day with a double and a triple. Austin Booker walked twice and went 2 for 3 with a double. Every Bear but Vinnie Bruno and Chad Bunting had a base hit, as the offense had plenty of opportunities but not enough runs.

Cal is still in the tournament, even if they are in trouble. They will look to end Alcorn State’s season tomorrow and continue theirs. The Bears need to make a fight for their lives and get back their rhythm if they want a hope to advance. Go Bears!