Cal and Rice were tied 3-3 going into the bottom of the 8th inning before lightning delayed the game for a few hours. The game is restarting at 5:23 PST and another game tonight between Baylor and the winner of the current game may still happen.
Time: 12:00 pm PST
Video Stream: Riceowls.com
Audio Stream: KALX radio
Down 4-0 and staring elimination in the face, Justin Jones saved the day. Cal's talented lefty came in with two outs in the 2nd inning to relieve Kevin Miller, and he kept the Braves off of the scoreboard until two unearned runs scored in the 9th. By then Cal's offense had finally come alive against Alcorn St.'s iffy pitching staff, allowing Cal to keep their season alive with a 10-6 win.
As it has been all season, it was Chadd Krist and Tony Renda who led the offensive attack. Both reached base three times and played key roles in Cal's critical 6 run rally in the 3rd inning. Krist's postseason has been spectacular thus far - he has gone 6-9 with two doubles and a triple. It will likely be up to Krist and Renda to keep Cal's postseason alive.
The big question will be on the mound. Cal has already used three of their four regular starting pitchers in the first two games of the playoffs, leaving Dixon Anderson. David Esquer's post-game quotes from yesterday's game didn't address how he planned to approach today's game. I can only assume that Anderson will start, but facing elimination and an elite offense in Rice he will likely have a short hook. Kevin Miller only faced 11 batters yesterday, and Erik Johnson 'only' faced 16 on Friday. It wouldn't shock me to see either of them warming up at some point today. But Cal's best chance would be to get a great start from Anderson. He has struggled some during Pac-10 play but Cal fans know he has the talent to pitch dominantly on any given day.
Rice will likely send Matthew Reckling to the mound. Reckling has a 3.07 ERA in 15 starts, but he struggles with control and generally doesn't pitch deep into games. If he doesn't pitch well they will give the ball to a well rested bullpen that has only pitched 2/3 of an inning so far in the Houston regional. This is going to be tough. Cal is facing the best team in the regional, playing at home with a well-rested pitching staff and a patient, effective offense. And if they win then they're right back out on the field at 4:00 to play Baylor again in another elimination game, at least for Cal. So it's not easy. But it hasn't been easy for this team all year, has it? Go Bears!