Those in purple were screaming "GO GO GO GO GO!" Those in blue (and gold) were screaming "NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!" Washington's Andy Smith was screaming towards home plate with UW down 1 in the top of the 9th. Cal starter Justin Jones had just pitched 8.1 innings of Houdini like success. Just 2 outs away from the win, Cal fans were freaked when Brad Boyer struck what appeared to be a solid double with the pinch runner Smith on second.
Stunningly, unbelievably, inconceivably, incomprehensibly, incomprelievably, a Cal team managed not to fail. No, in what was clearly the most exciting play of the game, Cal Center Fielder Danny Oh gunned Smith down at home plate. Hopefully for Washington, their Andy Smith also feels that winning isn't everything. Hopefully, that Andy Smith also believes that it is far better to play the game squarely and lose than to win at the sacrifice of an ideal. Because, even though there was no sacrifice of an ideal, they still lost. And how!
After the jump, let's learn more about Cal's victory over UW in baseball on 4.17.10 thanks to Danny Oh, just the sort of man who will not lie down bravely to die, but instead fight valiantly to live.
After the Spring Game, CalBandGreat and I went to lunch and then off to the Cal baseball game. Cal baseball is always a fun time out. You can be mere feet from the field. It's easy to heckle the other team. You can see the Cal players passionately cheer their teammates on. They are just right there:
With a volcanic ash-free day stretching on ahead, it was a near perfect afternoon.
If you want to single out a Cal Bear hero of the game, it is either the afore-mentioned Danny Oh or starting pitcher Justin Jones. Let's first look at Danny Oh. Here is is line from the day:
Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB
Oh, Danny lf............. 4 0 2 2 0 1 3 1 2
His first AB was a strike out, but otherwise he had a great day with 2 RBIs on the day. He supplied 66% of Cal's offense. In fact, it was a booming double by Oh that scored Cal's first run. After UW had scored a run in the top of the 3rd, we had this:
California 3rd - Delfino grounded out to 3b. Semien struck out. Matthews
tripled to center field. Oh doubled to left center, RBI; Matthews scored. Guinn
lined out to lf. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Two two out hits here, first a triple and then the Oh double. It is always good to see players scoring two out runs.
Oh scored his other run in the 7th with a searing triple:
California 7th - Semien doubled down the lf line. Booker pinch hit for
Matthews. Booker grounded out to 3b, SAC; Semien advanced to third. Gomez to p
for Kittredge. Oh tripled to center field, RBI; Semien scored. Guinn reached on
a fielder's choice, advanced to second; Oh out at home ss to c. Canha struck
out looking. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
You can see in there that Oh eventually was called out at home, so there was potential for another run. Oh well.
As for the other hero of the game, Justin Jones nearly pitched a complete game. Here is his line:
California IP H R ER BB SO AB BF
Jones, Justin....... 8.1 10 2 1 0 5 33 36
However, for all of Jones' success, it was tough going at times.
You'll notice that although he gave up only 2 runs (1 of which was unearned), he did give up 10 hits. He walked none and struck out five. It was innings like this that caused him to throw 124 pitches on the day and stress all the Cal fans out:
Washington 5th - Meehan singled to second base. Meehan stole second.
Scott struck out. Bentrott lined out to cf. Boyer singled up the middle, RBI;
Meehan scored. Cherry singled through the right side; Boyer advanced to second.
C. Brown hit by pitch; Cherry advanced to second; Boyer advanced to third.
Rankin popped up to 2b. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB.
Jones gives up a single and then the guy steals on him. He gets 2 outs quickly, but then gives up 2 hits and hits another player. Jones weebled and wobbled, but, fortunately, limited the damage and was able to get out of the inning alive.
Behind the strong pitching of Jones and the timely hits of Oh, Cal defeated UW 3-2 on Saturday. With a 9-7 victory on Sunday, they ended up taking the series from UW. Cal is currently 22-11 and 8-4 in the Pac10. They are currently 2nd in the Pac10, behind only the 31-3 ASU:
Nice to see USC at the bottom of the pack there. Cal is 25th in the RPI as of last week (it must only have gone up since then). Baseball America has Cal at 21 (again, as of last week). Looking at the schedule, Cal is playing Pacific on Tuesday 4.20.10 at 2:30 PM. They also have home games left against Oregon State (who has won several national championships recently), USF, and UCLA. Plenty of Cal baseball left before they (presumably) head to the post-season tournament. So, get out there and celebrate Cal baseball! GO BEARS!