The Cal Baseball Bears took advantage of the beatable opponents in Utah (one of the few Pac-12 schools that is not ranked in baseball) to start the conference play with a perfect 3-0 record. Despite yielding plenty of hits to the Utes at Salt Lake City, the Bears pitching was able to get the big outs when needed.
Led by back-to-back two-out doubles from junior standouts Devon Rodriguez andAndrew Knapp in the seventh inning, the Cal baseball team came back from a 5-4 deficit to produce a 9-5 victory over host Utah in the Pac-12 opener Friday (March 15) night in Salt Lake City.
The Golden Bears have now won six games in a row to improve their record to 11-7. The Utes dropped to 8-7 on the year. Junior reliever Trevor Hildenberger picked up his fourth win of the season, while sophomore right-hander Keaton Siomkin earned his first save of the year by pitching the final three innings.
Powered by junior first baseman Devon Rodriguez's grand slam in the second inning and solid pitching from senior left-hander Justin Jones, the Cal baseball team won its second game of a three-game Pac-12 series at Utah, 9-5, Saturday (March 16) in Salt Lake City. The Golden Bears, who also defeated the Utes, 9-5, on Friday, improved to 12-7 on the year and are now 2-0 in league play. Utah dropped to 8-8 on 0-2 in conference.
Jones earned his first win of the season (1-1), throwing 5.0 innings with six hits, two runs, no walks and three strikeouts. He now has 24 career victories, tied for fourth with Travis Willis (1987-89) on the Cal all-time wins list. Jones has also thrown 322.2 career innings, sixth on the Bears' all-time list.
Sophomore right-hander Dylan Nelson earned his first career save for the Bears - throwing the final 4.0 innings with three hits, one run, one walk and four strikeouts - after coming in the game with the bases loaded in the sixth inning.
Down 4-0 after two innings, the Cal baseball team made an impressive comeback, shutting out Utah the rest of the way to capture a 6-4 win over the Utes Sunday (March 17) in Salt Lake City. With the victory, the Golden Bears (13-7, 3-0) swept the Pac-12 series from Utah (9-5, 9-5, 6-4) and have now won eight games in a row.
Freshman center fielder Devin Pearson led Cal at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and RBI, including scoring the go ahead run in the seventh inning on Devon Rodriguez'sRBI single, and providing the Bears with an insurance run in the ninth inning with an RBI single.
On the mound, senior right-hander Logan Scott picked up the win in relief, throwing 1.2 innings with no hits, no runs, no walks and a strikeout. Junior right-hander Trevor Hildenberger picked up the save, throwing the final 2.0 innings with no hits, no runs, no walks and two strikeouts.
The Bears were also helped out by the bad Utah defense, whose 6 errors lead to 7 unearned runs for Cal. Bears gave up 30 hits in the 3 games but were able to get 34 hits themselves to capitalize on the Utes' mistakes.
Cal Baseball in the News:
SF Examiner has a profile on Cal pitchers Dylan Nelson (4 inning save on Saturday) and Colin Monsour (started the Sunday game but only went 1 inning).
While the Bears are on the road for the past three weeks (and continue to be on the road for another week), light towers are being installed at Evans Diamond. With the lights, the Bears can have night games on Pac-12 Networks as well as potentially host NCAA post season games in Berkeley.
Pac-12 Teams in the Rankings:
Oregon State (19-1) - 4
UCLA (15-3) - 7
Oregon (15-6) - 12
Stanford (10-5) - 17
Arizona State (12-4-1) - 21
Arizona (15-8) - 25
Receiving votes: California (13-7), Washington State (11-7)
Pac-12 Baseball Standings:
The Bears will look to continue their 8 game win streak with more road games. First up today (Wednesday) is an one game trip to San Jose against San Jose State (5-15).
The San Jose State game is scheduled for 3:30 PM PT and is available on the radio/online at 90.5 FM KSJS and The Gold Zone on www.sjsuspartans.com.
Starting on Friday, the Bears start a key Pac-12 3-game series against the UCLA Bruins in Westwood. The Bruins are coming off a weekend sweep of their own against Washington (in Westwood).
We would have open threads and link to radio calls for all 3 games here on CGB. Can the Bears' win streak survive the trip to Los Angeles? A series win would go a long way toward the Bears getting back to the postseason play.