It’s time for some Friday night baseball! Evans Diamond may not have lights, but the Bears are on the road so you can start your weekend off right with the Bears on the (internet) radio. The level of competition takes a step up against the Long Beach State 49ers, traditional west coast power fallen on relatively hard times. LBSU reached the playoffs 17 times between 1989 and 2008, including four World Series appearances. After a couple years in sub-.500-wilderness, the 49ers are back with a new coach and are perhaps contenders to again reach the playoffs this year, which means this is a good early road test for the Bears.
It will be Justin Jones on the mound looking to start the weekend with a win. Jones looked sharp in a 5 inning, 6 strikeout outing against Pacific and will try to build on that tonight. He was limited to 75 pitches last week, but hopefully that encouraging performance means a longer leash in his second start.
Jones will face senior righty Shaun Stuart, who struck out seven in a five inning no decision against VCU last week. Stuart had a solid junior campaign and finished with a 3.16 ERA in only 74 innings, a statistical profile that suggests he's not the type to pitch deep into the game. Hopefully Cal can chase him early and tire out LBSU's bullpen in the first game of the three game set. Go Bears!