Cal Baseball at USC Game 2 Open Thread

Time: 1:30 PM PDT/4:30 PM EDT (rescheduled from 6:30 start)
Radio: KALX 90.7 FM

CGB hasn't done much with baseball as of late, but that's about to change. With KALX audio streaming much of this season's action, we'll try our best to provide open threads for the remaining conference slate. So in case you have nothing to listen to on the weekends and you're starved of Cal sports enjoyment, we've got your ticket here. Relax and enjoy.

Katie Dowd of the Daily Cal writes about how strong Cal's pitching has been after a rough 2009 campaign.

Sophomore Erik Johnson, freshman Justin Jones and sophomore Dixon Anderson have earned unchallenged starting roles in the weekend rotation. The trio make up a picture-perfect lineup-two hard-throwing right-handers bookending a crafty lefty.

That's the lineup that USC (15-14, 2-4 in the Pac-10) should see this weekend as Cal (17-10, 3-3) travels to Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m., tonight with Johnson likely getting the starting nod for the Bears.

"Erik Johnson is kind of a true No. 1 type of guy with a power arm," coach David Esquer said. "He had some tightness earlier in the year and he's had to come back from that. His last outing was his best outing, and we like to see that. He's just gotten better and better."

On Sunday, there's Anderson, a prospect who garnered significant attention from scouts early in the season. He has given up just 16 earned runs in 42 2/3 innings.

Johnson didn't have his strongest game Friday, but the bats picked up the slack in a 16-9 shellacking of the Trojans.

Down 4-1 after the first inning, the California baseball team came back strong with nine runs in the next two innings and cruised to a 16-9 Pac-10 victory Friday night (April 9) at USC. The Golden Bears, who won their sixth straight game and fourth-straight conference contest, improved to 18-10 overall and 4-3 in league. The Trojans dipped to 15-15 and 2-5 in the Pac-10.

At the plate Cal was led by freshmen Mitch Delfino (3-for-5, two RBI), Jimmy Bosco (2-for-5, two doubles, three RBI) and Tony Renda (2-for-4, triple, two RBI); and sophomore Chad Bunting (3-for-4, RBI); as the Bears pounded out 18 hits. Cal's winning pitcher was sophomore right-hander Erik Johnson, who improved his record to 5-1 by throwing 5.1 innings with nine hits, four runs, three walks and nine strikeouts.

After Cal had scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning, USC exploded for four runs in the bottom of the first off Johnson, highlighted by the Pac-10's leading home run hitter Ricky Oropesa's three-run shot (11th home run of the year).

But the Bears rallied back with three runs in the second inning, with the key hit being Bosco's two-run double to right field off Trojan starter Kevin Couture (2-1, 2.1 innings, nine hits, nine runs, seven earned runs, one strikeout), to tie the score, 4-4.

From there Cal scored the games' next 10 runs. In the third inning the Bears tallied six runs on six hits with the help of some Trojan miscues and an RBI single from Bunting, an RBI double by Bosco, and RBI single by Delfino and an RBI single by junior second baseman Brian Guinn.

Follow the gamecast here, and listen to the radio stream above.

Note: If anyone wants to write recaps of these games (we'll try our best to write them, but coverage could be spotty), we'll frontpage them as soon as we see them.

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