California Golden Bears (36-20) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (48-12)
When: 4:30 PM PT
TV: SEC Network
Probable Starters: Cal's Daulton Jefferies vs. ???
This is it. A rubber game to what has turned into a key 3 game series in the College Station Regional between our beloved Cal Bears and the Texas A&M Aggies. The stakes tonight are simple: win and advance or lose and go home (for Texas A&M that would be easy since they are already home).
After 26 innings of exciting baseball that showed how close in talent these two teams are in talent (despite Texas A&M with the better ranking), it will come down to these final 9 (or more) innings. By winning the first game on Saturday, the Bears have played one less game than Texas A&M, who had to play (and win) two to make it to today.
At this point, the two teams should be fairly familiar with one another. They should be also be familiar to us who have spent hours watching the two games. Texas A&M like to wear random snack boxes on their head as a rally cap (it was unsuccessful on Saturday). The Bears wear a Rally Cape, harkening back to the tradition set in Houston during the 2011 Regional win.
Here are the list of pitchers used and how many innings they threw for both teams:
Friday (vs. Coastal Carolina)
Daulton Jefferies, 7 IP, 115 pitches thrown
Erik Martinez, 1 IP, 19 pitches thrown
Alex Schick, 0.1 IP, 31 pitches thrown
Jeff Bain, 0.2 IP, 3 pitches thrown
Saturday (vs. Texas A&M)
Ryan Mason, 8 IP, 95 pitches thrown
Dylan Nelson, 4 IP, 52 pitches thrown
Chris Muse-Fisher, 0.1 IP, 10 pitches thrown
Erick Martinez, 1.2 IP, 29 pitches thrown
Sunday (vs. Texas A&M)
Matt Ladrech, 5 IP, 59 pitches thrown
Chris Muse-Fisher, 1.2 IP, 36 pitches thrown
Jeff Bain, 1.1 IP, 22 pitches thrown
Lucas Erceg, 4 IP, 43 pitches thrown
Friday (vs. Texas Southern)
Matt Kent, 7 IP, 90 pitches thrown
Andrew Vinson, 2 IP, 21 pitches thrown
Saturday (vs. Cal)
Grayson Long, 6.2 IP, 99 pitches thrown
Ryan Hendrix, 6.2 IP, 100 pitches thrown
Sunday (vs. Coastal Carolina)
Andrew Vinson, 7.2 IP, 111 pitches thrown
Ty Schlottmann, 0.1 IP, 19 pitches thrown
Kyle Simonds, 1 IP, 6 pitches thrown
Sunday (vs. Cal)
Tyler Stubblefield, 5 IP, 65 pitches thrown
Corbin Martin, 1.1 IP, 22 pitches thrown
Kyle Simonds, 0 IP, 8 pitches thrown
Blake Kopetsky, 0.1 IP, 3 pitches thrown
Mark Ecker, 3.1 IP, 42 pitches thrown
Jason Freeman, 2 IP, 28 pitches thrown
So who may we see on the mound today?
Given the importance of the game and how it will be "All Hands on Deck". I expect to see both of the Friday starters for the two schools in Cal ace Daulton Jefferies, who was brilliant on Friday against Coastal Carolina, and Texas A&M's #2 in Matt Kent (the arguable ace for the Aggies is their Saturday starter in Grayson Long).
Matt Kent ready for an inning tomorrow, all hands on deck— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) June 1, 2015
I think it is fair to say that Andrew Vinson may be unavailable for the Aggies. I would be surprised to see their closer Mark Ecker for anything more than a batter after he threw 3.1 innings last night.
For the Bears, freshmen Jeff Bain and Erick Martinez should both be available. Senior closer Dylan Nelson should be good for an inning. I would not be surprised if Ryan Mason is also called upon for an inning or two.
UPDATED: It will be the Cal sophomore ace Daulton Jefferies that will take the mound for the Bears to start the game.
I'm not sure he's allowed to wear the cowboy hat and towel-cape to the mound.
Most Cal cowboy ever pic.twitter.com/IIpl34temz— Good, Stop Bunting (@GBHunting) May 31, 2015
The new "Hit Squad"
The Bears are getting plenty of hits in this Regional and against Texas A&M. Hitting with runners in scoring position have been another problem though. Bears need to continue hitting and maybe stop giving away outs to win the game today.
One more thing:
Given my understanding of the NCAA Baseball playoff rules, I think the Bears will be the visitors for this game. So unfortunately, this kind of thing won't be possible for the Bears.
As much as I wouldn't mind another instant classic Cal Baseball win tonight, I would be quite content with an easy win as well. Let's continue this already magical postseason run into the weekend.