In the second longest game in program history, Cal lost 6-4 in 17 tense, excruciating innings as darkness began to fall on Evans Diamond. Twice Arizona St. took a one run lead in extra innings, only for Cal to score in the bottom of the inning to extend the game. But the Sun Devils finally broke through for good with a bases loaded, one out single through the infield that scored two runs.
Cal’s pitching was spectacular on the night, holding Arizona St.’s potent offense in check the entire game. Erik Johnson would have earned a win on most nights with his 9 inning, 2 run performance. And Kyle Porter, Matt Flemer and Louis Lechich combined to give Cal’s hitters numerous chances to win the game in extras.
But Cal just couldn’t get that one hit. They certainly had their chances. The Bears had the winning run on 3rd base with 2 outs in the 10th, on 2nd base with no outs in the 11th, on 2nd base with one out in the 13th, and again on 3rd base with 2 outs in the 15th. But all of those opportunities fell by the wayside.
It’s a tough loss to bounce back from, but Cal will have to do just that. David Esquer would love nothing more than to get a strong outing out of Justin Jones (5-2, 3.13), because the bullpen will not be fresh today. Hopefully Kevin Miller will be available if necessary after throwing four innings against UC Davis on Tuesday, because most everybody else had long, high-stress outings yesterday.
Arizona St. will be hoping for a similar performance from their starter, Kramer Champlin (5-1, 3.20). The Sun Devils also used 4 relief pitchers in a bullpen that goes 6 pitchers deep. Champlin averages about 6-7 innings a start, and Tim Esmay will hope for at least that many innings today.