Staying alive; Cal beats Rice, Baylor to make it to regional championship game

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After losing the opener, Cal had one goal in mind: get to Monday. After winning three straight elimination games, the Bears have done just that. Today, it took wins over Rice and Baylor to achieve their goal.

First up, the Bears matched up with host and #1 seed Rice. An expert would have to figure that a team without its top 3 starters would go down right then and there. But not this Bear team. Dixon Anderson started and gave the Bears a quality outing, 4.2 innings and giving up just 3 runs (1 earned). Logan Scott allowed two of Anderson’s runs to come in, but didn’t give up any of his own. Matt Flemer did his great work getting Scott out of a jam in the eighth. With Flemer getting out of Scott’s jam, the score was tied 3-3 going into the bottom of the eighth. Cal got a run in the seventh to tie. But in the eighth inning, Rice defense (3 errors) put all of Cal’s baserunners on and allowed them to score 3. Flemer shut it down in the ninth, and Cal eliminated Rice with a 6-3 final. Recap of the second game after the jump!

The second game featured Cal facing Baylor in a revenge match for Baylor’s Friday victory. And did Cal get their revenge. Despite both being held scoreless through 5, Cal’s offense came through in a big way. Chad Bunting got the festivities started with a solo home run in the sixth to make it 1-0, and then contributed to the 7 run eighth with a 3 run home run. Kyle Porter was terrific, getting the breaking pitches over and throwing 6.2 scoreless innings. Kevin Miller got him out of runner on third, two out jam, and Justin Jones closed it out with 2 scoreless innings. All in all, a fine performance that led to an 8-0 win for the Golden Bears.

Tomorrow, Baylor will face Cal with both teams fighting for their season. Cal has faced this three times already; it’s a new experience for the Bears. It sounds like Erik Johnson will get the ball for the Golden Bears, but nothing is set in stone yet. Justin Jones, Matt Flemer, and Logan Scott will also potentially see work tomorrow.

Cal has done the work to get where they want to be; now, they just have to finish the job. Let’s hope they do it and take down Baylor tomorrow. Go Golden Bears!