When Cal lost to Baylor in their first game in Houston it was their fifth loss in six games and the Bears looked dead in the water. They then fell behind 4-0 to Alcorn St., and a season that seemed so promising looked dead in the water.
But all of a sudden Cal rediscovered the never-say-die mojo that carried the team when they faced the cancellation of the program, and two come-from-behind victories kept the season going. But in the process Cal used all four of their regular starting pitchers. They turned to freshman Kyle Porter, a lefty with a huge curveball that has excelled this year out of the bullpen. He proceeded to have a performance that should go down in the annals of Cal baseball. Over 6 2/3 dominant innings he struck out 9 Baylor hitters who were mystified by his breaking pitches and couldn't catch his fastball.
But Cal couldn't provide him any support until Chad Bunting woke up Reckling Park with a solo home run to left for the first run of the game. In the 7th Porter allowed a leadoff double but got two outs before Kevin Miller recorded the biggest strike out of his long Cal career to strand a runner on 3rd. A tired but filthy Justin Jones got through the top of the 8th, and Cal's bats exploded.
The Golden Bears ended up sending 12 batters to the plate and collected 7 hits, none bigger than Bunting's second home run, this time a three run shot to effectively put the game out of reach. Jones would pitch a quiet 9th to force a 3rd and deciding game between Cal and Baylor tomorrow at 4:00 PST. Join us again tomorrow to talk Cal baseball as the Bears look to advance to their first super-regional in program history!
Cal survived Anthony Rendon, 3 back-to-back errors by their own pitcher and a lightning storm, but they're still kicking in Houston. The Bears eliminated national seed Rice behind solid pitching from Dixon Anderson, Logan Scott and Matt Flemer and more than a little help from Rice's infield defense.
Cal fell behind 2-0 when, after a leadoff single, Dixon Anderson twice threw away sacrifice bunt attempts and then threw away a pickoff attempt. He then struck out two batters to escape the jam he created and ended up surviving into the 5th inning. A two-out single in the 4th from Vince Bruno tied the game, but Keenan Cook's solo home run gave Rice the 3-2 lead
The game swung in the 7th and 8th innings. Cal managed a run in the 7th when Austin Booker singled home Darrell Matthews, but Rice immediately threatened to take back the lead when they loaded the bases with two outs. But Matt Flemer saved the Bears again by pitching out of the jam, setting up Cal's bottom of the 8th rally. But Cal didn't do much other than put the ball in play. Three errors by Rice's infield gifted Cal their rally and their first two runs. Tony Renda's two out single gave the Bears one last insurance run and provided the final margin before Flemer took care of business in the 9th.
Cal again faces elimination, this time in a late-night game against a relatively well rested Baylor squad. I have no idea who will be taking the mound for either team. Check the threads for updates. Go Bears!