Cal Baseball Goes To The College World Series! Photo Essay Part Two

SPOILER ALERT! All photos via the always artistic aee07

When we last left you, the Bears led 3-2 after three and a half innings, but that lead felt tenuous.  Cal had let DBU starter Jared Stafford off the hook a few times, and the Patriots had seemingly found their legs.  It looked like it was going to be a back-and-forth affair the rest of the way.  Would it turn out OK for the boys in Gold?!?

Chad Bunting led off the decisive 4th inning with a loud double that got the crowd excited.  After Darrell Matthews flew out Derek Campbell (who only played mainly because Tony Renda hurt himself enough to that he couldn't play his usual 2nd base) picked up his 2nd of 3 hits on the game with another double, driving in Bunting.  Austin Booker would ground out to advance Campbell to 3rd, and up stepped Tony Renda, who up to that point hadn't gotten a hit in the series.  You knew that wasn't going to last.  Renda came through with a huge single to give Cal a 3 run cushion, which for some reason beyond me seemed like a much bigger lead than just 2 runs.

Chadd Krist and Marcus Semien would both reach to load the bases, but Devon Rodriguez was unable to blow the game wide open.

251793_10100481277188463_1205596_58974905_1731100_n_medium
Devon saves his bases loaded hits for when Cal really needs them.

 

And as it turned out, that 5-2 lead would be enough, thanks to a pitching staff that shut things down for the rest of the game.  Erik Johnson, after a rough first 3 innings, settled down by retiring 9 of the last 11 batters he faced, including a dramatic strike out to strand two runners that had walked to end the 6th inning.  He then gave way to a bullpen that has carried over their regular season dominance big time.

First up: Kevin Miller

259951_10100481277408023_1205596_58974909_3426303_n_medium

251079_10100481277542753_1205596_58974913_2455598_n_medium

Followed immediately by lefty Kyle Porter, who I absolutely love watching.  Dude's motion is unique and effective, and he's just a freshman!

249691_10100481277652533_1205596_58974916_400619_n_medium

249551_10100481277877083_1205596_58974922_7716320_n_medium

And finally it was time for Cal's closer, Matt Flemer.  At this point Cal had added an insurance run in the 6th when our 1-2-3 hitters all had rather similar seeing eye singles.  But the run seemed perfunctory, unnecessary.  The pitching staff had things on lock down:

247002_10100481278191453_1205596_58974928_5287858_n_medium

251749_10100481278271293_1205596_58974930_4317397_n_medium

Just two batters reached on Cal's bullpen, one on an error.  Miller and Porter both recorded two strike outs.  For once in my life I wasn't ever really nervous about a Cal game.  And when Derek Campbell snared a low liner to send the Bears to Omaha, this was our expressionistic take:

253559_10100481278485863_1205596_58974935_921751_n_medium
Devon Rodriguez: Rhapsody 1 in Gold

The obligatory dogpile soon followed

255112_10100481278640553_1205596_58974938_3950175_n_medium

260005_10100481278775283_1205596_58974941_4964137_n_medium

253570_10100481278944943_1205596_58974945_524200_n_medium

The players finally got up off of the pile and soon turned to the fans to applaud back.  It was a great moment, because you could feel the gratitude the players felt towards those in the audience who had put the time, effort and money in to saving Cal baseball.

248976_10100481279658513_1205596_58974967_3724984_n_medium

Coach Esquer received the traditionally bath in some sort of liquid as family and friends looked on

254988_10100481279818193_1205596_58974971_4233460_n_medium

Gotta hand it to Dallas Baptist and their fans - they stuck around well after Cal celebrated for the post-game hand shake, and their fans were steadfast in their support, even for players who had tough days.  Good team, good fans.

254966_10100481279488853_1205596_58974962_8365108_n_medium

And rarely have sweeter sights been seen at the end of a Cal game.  When it finally looked like the players were calming down and moving towards the locker rooms we put the camera away and walked down the stairs.  But the players huddled, turned back towards the crowd and let out a hearty 'GO!'  We all quickly responded with 'BEARS!'  and we had the perfect capper on a perfect night.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join California Golden Blogs

You must be a member of California Golden Blogs to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at California Golden Blogs. You should read them.

Join California Golden Blogs

You must be a member of California Golden Blogs to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at California Golden Blogs. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker