This was a wild one. Golden Bears had plenty of early opportunities against ASU starter Lingos but double plays and unproductive outs doomed the Bears. It was not until the top of the 7th before the Bears finally broke through and went ahead (thanks to an ASU error, by the way).
Five-hole! Brett Cumberland puts @cal_baseball ahead 3-2 on this RBI single.— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 16, 2016
LIVE: https://t.co/aWqiXywAC2.now https://t.co/fKvYqrWnwm
Just when it looks like the Bears will cruise to an easy win, up 4-2 in the 9th (Bears have been a perfect 19-0 with a lead in the 8th inning and later) - senior Keaton Siomkin allowed a RBI single to extend the game. Head Coach David Esquer opts to bring in the struggling closer in sophomore RHP Erik Martinez to get this final out. Unfortunately, Martinez allowed a game tying double to ASU's Snow.
SNOW IN THE DESERT ALERT ❄️— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 16, 2016
Andrew Snow ties it with 2 out in the 9th! LIVE: https://t.co/ZLABag9Ytt https://t.co/Abw16l3qUY
Just when it looks like Esquer has erred in allowing Martinez to pitch the 10th, EMar got some defensive help from his RF in Brian Celsi, who threw out a runner trying to advance on a fly ball.
In the top of the 11th, Celsi showed what he can do with his bat, hitting a go ahead homer.
GONE and GONE! Back-to-back DINGERS have @cal_baseball up 6-4 in the 11th!— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 16, 2016
LIVE: https://t.co/ZLABag9Ytt https://t.co/lJqFtwjCd1
One out later, Robbie Tenerowicz also goes deep for the Bears - who put up a 4 spot in the top of 11th.
Martinez was given the opportunity to finish the game but was pulled after a walk and a HBP. Dodson got the final three outs for the save, while Martinez got the win (after his blown save) in this one.
Starter sophomore RHP Jeff Bain was effective in his 6.1 innings of work. Senior Keaton Siomkin appeared to have got out of his funk, pitching two innings before that 9th inning trouble (two runs are charged to him).
#Bears Even Series at #ASU, Win 8-4 in 11 Innings: https://t.co/7oUQMYEjVH #GoBears #LetsGo pic.twitter.com/XlMA9PgA4W— #LetsGo (@Cal_Baseball) April 17, 2016
Here are some end of game thoughts from Aaron Knapp.
#Cal CF @aknappyboii was 4-6 with 2 RBI in today's win, and he shares his thoughts in #KnappTime #GoBears #LetsGo pic.twitter.com/h5SlAZiUjP— #LetsGo (@Cal_Baseball) April 17, 2016
From the CalBears.com recap:
The No. 15 Golden Bears (21-10, 9-5 Pac-12) knocked off the Arizona State Sun Devils (19-13, 5-9 Pac-12) 8-4 in 11 innings on Saturday afternoon at Phoenix Municipal Stadium to even the series. Senior third baseman Mitchell Kransonwent 4-for-6 with two doubles and two RBI to help lift the Bears from an early 2-0 hole. Arizona State however, fought back to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth, both with two away, to tie the game at 4-4 and force extra innings. Cal erupted for four runs in the top of the 11th, as senior outfielder Brian Celsi led off the frame with a solo shot to right to put the Bears back in front. Two batters later, junior second basemanRobbie Tenerowicz crushed his second home run of the season, pulling one out to deep left to make it 6-4. Cal then tacked on two more runs in the inning to extend the lead to 8-4.
"To get back on track today to even out the series is big for us," Celsi said following the win. "We haven’t been playing great lately, but it is a long season and we will be fine. In my last at-bat, I got a curveball up, put a good swing on it and it went. I’ve been itching to get back out there, so it was awesome today. It’s always fun to win too, so that was big."
The rubber match will be played at 12:30 pm PT on Sunday. Although it is not on TV, the game will be streamed online. Maybe this 20 hit outburst is what the Bears need to go on another roll and win the Pac. Sophomore LHP Matt Ladrech will take the hill for the Golden Bears in the Sunday contest.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
California Golden Bears (20-10, 8-5 in Pac-12) at Arizona State Sun Devils (19-12, 5-8 in Pac-12)
Where: Phoenix Municipal (Phoenix, AZ)
When: 12 pm PT
TV: Pac-12 Arizona (Pac-12 Bay Area is showing the Men's Tennis Big Slam)
Probably pitching matchup: RHP Jeff Bain (3-2, 3.45 ERA) for Cal vs. TBD for ASU
After losing the series opener for the first time in the 2016 season, how will the Golden Bears bounce back on Saturday? The listed starter for Saturday, Eder Erives for ASU pitched two innings for the save on Friday night. The optimist in me would like to think that the Bears can potentially feast on the lesser ASU pitchers for the rest of this series, but these games can also easily turn into a slug fest.
Bears have now lost 3 straight Pac-12 games to see their Pac-12 aspiration taking a little bit of a hit (Bears are in fact still in very good shape but obviously need to end this skid). Yes, the Bears will go home for two series (Arizona and then Washington) after this weekend where the Bears have done quite well in the friendly confines of Evans Diamond, but it would be a huge morale boost to finally win a road Pac-12 series.
We shall see if sophomore Jeff Bain can step up and be the stopper for the Bears. Bain has had some good outings, but on first glance they are correlated with the Bears giving him a big lead. The Cal offense is certainly capable of doing that on this afternoon, but we shall see how this game unfolds on the Pac-12 Networks.