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Winner of 5 straight games, Cal Baseball starts Pac-12 Conference play today at Utah. Go Bears!
Cal Baseball (9-7) at Utah (8-6)
When: 5 PM PT
Live stats: Gametracker
Radio: KALX 90.7 FM (KALX Online here)
Coming off a solid 5-0 week, the Bears start Pac-12 Conference play against the beatable Utah Utes in the otherwise very tough Pac-12 Conference.
A quick look at the current Pac-12 teams in the rankings this week:
Current Pac-12 Teams in the ranking
Oregon State – 4
Oregon – 12
Stanfurd – 16
Arizona State – 19
Arizona – 21
Game note from CalBears.com:
TENTATIVE CALIFORNIA LINE-UP No. Pos. Player 2013 Stats 27 CF Devin Pearson, Fr. .313, 4 RBI, 1 HR 37 SS Mike Reuvekamp, Jr. .237, 5 RBI, 0 HR 15 C Andrew Knapp, Jr. .333, 14 RBI, 2 HR 33 DH Devon Rodriguez, Jr. .375, 9 RBI, 0 HR 51 RF Jacob Wark, Jr. .259, 6 RBI, 0 HR 6 3B Chris Paul, So. .238, 15 RBI, 2 HR 21 2B Brenden Farney, So. .375, 3 RBI, 0 HR 10 1B Michael Theofanopoulos, Jr. .188, 3 RBI, 1 HR 25 LF Brian Celsi, Fr. .246, 5 RBI, 0 HR 42 RHP Ryan Mason, Fr. (Fri.) 3-0, 1.80 ERA 23 LHP Justin Jones, Sr. (Sat.) 0-1, 5.12 ERA TBA (Sun.)
Cal (10-7), fresh off a four-game sweep of Fresno State and a 3-1 Tuesday win at Santa Clara, travels to Utah (8-6) for the Pac-12 opener at Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City. The Golden Bears are undefeated at home (7-0) this season and of their seven home victories, three have been in extra-innings and five have been by one run. The Bears' four-game sweep of Fresno State (5-4 in 10 innings, 8-1, 4-3, 8-4) is believed to be the first time in school history Cal has swept a four-game series. An outstanding player offensively for the Bears against the Bulldogs was sophomore third baseman Chris Paul. Paul was 6-for-18 (.333) for the week with a double, two home runs and eight RBI. He was 2-for-2 last Monday at No. 19 Rice, and then recorded four hits in the four-game series versus Fresno State, but three of the four hits were for extra-bases as he had a double and two home runs with eight RBI for .688 slugging percentage. On March 8, Paul had a sacrifice bunt RBI and a three-run homer versus the Bulldogs. In the March 10 series final, he was 2-for-5 with a three-run double and snapped a 4-4 tie with a one-out homer to spark a four-run seventh inning, for a career-high four RBI. On the mound, Cal was led by freshman right-hander Ryan Mason. During Cal's 8-1 victory over Fresno State March 8, Mason threw 5.0 innings with three hits, one unearned run, one walk and a season-high seven strikeouts in his first collegiate start. Cal's tall (6-7) right-hander is now 3-0 on the year with a 1.80 ERA and has 13 strikeouts in 10.0 innings. He had won two games in relief for the Bears earlier this season, picking up wins over UC Irvine and Michigan. The Bears continue to be led offensively by junior catcher Andrew Knapp and junior first baseman/designated hitter Devon Rodriguez. Knapp, a first-team Preseason All-American in Baseball America, has five doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI. Rodriguez, batting a team-leading .375 with four doubles and nine RBI, returns this year after sitting out the majority of 2012 with a right knee injury. He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 Houston Regional after hitting the game-winning RBI in Cal's come-from-behind victory over Baylor to advance the Bears to the 2011 Super Regionals. Knapp and Rodriguez are among nine members of the 2013 squad who were part of the Bears' 2011 College World Series team. Cal, under the direction of David Esquer(2011 NCBWA National Coach of the Year), also return two All-American left-handers - Justin Jones, a freshman All-American in 2010, and Kyle Porter, a freshman All-American in 2011 - from a squad looking to return to postseason play after Regional appearances in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The first-ever night game at Evans Diamond is slated for the Bears' Pac-12 opener, Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. versus USC.
Utah, coached by Bill Kenneberg (9th year at Utah, 237-279, .459), are 8-6, last winning three-of-four over Saint Mary's (W 3-1, L 2-1, W 14-4, W 3-1) March 8-11 in Moraga. Top hitters for the Utes are freshman catcher AJ Young (.333, 2 HR, 6 RBI), junior left fielder Tyler Yagi (.267, 0 HR, 8 RBI) and junior center fielder Braden Anderson (.256, 0 HR, 2 RBI). Utah's tentative rotation is sophomore right-hander Mitch Watrous (1-0, 2.65 ERA), senior right-hander Joe Pond (2-1, 5.91 ERA) and TBA. In 2012, the Utes were 14-42 overall and 7-23 in the Pac-12 (11th).
Cal has a 6-0 all-time record versus Utah, last sweeping the Utes (9-4, 9-0, 5-2), April 20-22, 2012 at Evans Diamond. The Bears also hosted Utah to open the 2011 season, sweeping the Utes in a doubleheader (7-0, 6-5), Feb. 20, 2011 in Berkeley.