Cal Baseball begins a long homestand tonight and it's time to come to Evans Diamond to support the Bears. They had a disappointing weekend in Los Angeles as USC took two out of three from the Bears, one of the losses coming in blowout fashion. (The same day we were mourning Cal Basketball's early exit from the tournament, no less) Before the Bears hit the road again (to Oregon) they also host one-off Tuesday non-conference games against San Francisco and Stanford, sandwiched around another big time series against a UCLA team that has had a lot of success against Cal at Evans (and Westwood for that matter) over the years.
The one win came with the help of Cal's ace Daulton Jefferies, who will be the starter tonight. Ryan Mason, after back to back disappointing outings, will look to rebound on Friday. Saturday's starter is TBA. Last year, both Jefferies and Mason played really well in Corvallis, with the Beavers ultimately winning late. Cal won the series and regular season finale to prevent a sweep. Thursday and Friday are 7PM games, Saturday is a 1PM affair.
Shockingly, none of the 6 games against Oregon State or UCLA will be televised on Pac-12 Networks (the games against USF and Furd however, will be on Pac-12 Bay Area) but you can follow all games on KALX 90.7. I guess this is an indictment of the facilities, as maybe it's a tough to get TV crews to set up shop here. When Washington comes to town, one of the games will be on ESPNU, and the series finale against Utah will be completely televised on Pac12 Networks, but other than that there's little home coverage this year.
Why not attend the games though? If you're a student, I'm assuming you're on Spring Break this weekend, so you're excused (not so much for UCLA though) but otherwise... this Cal Baseball team deserves your support and here's why.
- Cal Baseball has some of the best talent in the country. Daulton Jefferies has looked amazing and is probably on his way to the pros this summer. The pitching staff already has 133 strikeouts this year. The offense? 12 home runs in the last 14 games, but that has the potential to balloon as this is largely the same squad that hit 45 in conference play last year. Brett Cumberland has six this season, Mitchell "El Gaucho" Kranson have two and a bunch of players have one. They are the two to look out for every time they step to the plate.
- Oregon State is really good. They are ranked #3, will be starting some pretty good pitchers themselves this weekend, and are always in the national title conversation.
- As stated earlier, Evans Diamond is growing as a venue with additions of lights and a scoreboard coming in the years following the program's reinstatement in 2011. We've seen alcohol booths being added to the game experience. This year we have an amazing schedule with solid teams like Oregon State, UCLA, Washington and Arizona coming to town. With few of the games on TV, the only way to witness some memorable moments is to come to the games. Plus, the more money the team makes, the more additional renovations can be made to Evans, which can attract more TV coverage.
- If Cal does really well this year, Evans is qualified to host a regional. It's a long shot, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility this season. Your support can go a long way!
- The weather has been better lately. The Texas Tech series was ruined due to rain. Although it's not hot by any means... weather should be around 60 degrees at game time, there shouldn't be any rain and hopefully wind won't be too big a deal either.
Next week we'll have an update on the UCLA series. Also consider supporting the Cal Softball team next week when they return home to face Arizona State. Hopefully no rain will ruin the series this time! Go Bears!