Overcoming a blown call on a double play attempt, Cal SS Preston Grand Pre clearly did step on 2nd base on replay, which immediately led to the tying run to be score by Stanford in T6, the Golden Bears defeated their Bay Area rival 5-2 on Tuesday night to improve their splendid home record to 13-3 on the year.
In a bullpen game for both sides (typical of these midweek games), the Bears wasted two great scoring opportunities in the first and second innings - getting the first two guys on but only to strand them. Eventually, Cal sophomore catcher who was DHing today, Brett Cumberland blasted his Pac-12 leading 11th homerun to put the Bears ahead. One out later, Nick Halamandaris also hit a no doubter of his own to make it 2-0.
Freshman Aaron Shortridge started the game for the Bears and tossed 3.1 scoreless innings. Redshirt sophomore lefty Akaash Agrawal followed with 0.2 innings but gave up a run. The other run was given up by freshman Joey Matulovich in his 1.2 innings.
After Stanford tied the game up at 2-2 in T6, Head Coach David Esquer called on his usual closer (who has been struggling of late) in Erik Martinez to stop the bleeding. Martinez tossed 1.2 innings and picked up the win to improve to 3-1 on the year.
T6 | Martinez comes in and gets the strike out to end the inning! https://t.co/4Hgz5EX6sH— #LetsGo (@Cal_Baseball) April 20, 2016
Bears immediately struck back in B6, starting with this no doubt triple for junior CF Aaron Knapp.
Brian Celsi brought Knapp home with a sac fly. Two more Bears got on (Kranson and Tenerowicz) before Cumberland, a switch hitter who is now hitting from the left side, added a two run double.
Senior Keaton Siomkin got out of trouble in the T8.
Freshman Tanner Dodson pitched the 9th for his 3rd save. He also got this help from his shortstop after two strike outs.
The Bears will host Arizona this weekend to continue the homestand. Although today's win does not count toward the Pac-12 standings, it was a nice one to have (and a boost in the RPI) given how much better Stanford has played as of late.
During the broadcast, Esquer gave quick updates on two injured pitchers. Junior ace Daulton Jefferies has already started throwing some but the Bears are clearly going to be very cautious with him to protect his bright future (given our postseason aspirations, we certainly need Jefferies to not have this calf injury turns into a recurring thing). Alex Schick, who has yet pitch this year, is now throwing some bullpen sessions. Esquer thinks he might be back in action next weekend.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
California Golden Bears (21-11) vs. Stanford Cardinal (19-11)
Where: Evans Diamond (Berkeley, CA)
When: 7 pm PT
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Probable Starters: Cal RHP Aaron Shortridge (1-1, 7.56 ERA vs. Stanford LHP John Hochstatter (0-0, 4.26 ERA)
No.18 Golden Bears are finally back home, where they have had pretty good success with a 12-3 record. One of those 3 losses came in agonizing fashion against Stanford on April 5th (the last home game by the way). The Bears would love nothing more than to avenge for that loss.
Stanford has played better as of late, although they did only win 1 of 3 at Arizona this weekend, winning their Sunday game via an inside-the-park homer.
The Bears went 3-4 in the recent road trip - dropping 2 out of 3 games against Oregon last weekend and then against Arizona State this past weekend.
This is again a non-Pac-12 game between the two Bay Area rivals. Bears will visit the Cardinal for a 3 game series that counts for the Pac-12 standings once the current 8 game homestand over the next two weeks is over.
In other news, former Golden Bears Xavier Nady is named in the Pac-12 All Century team.
In case you're wondering, Washington State alum John Olerud is the Player of the Century. USC alum Mark Prio is the Pitcher of the Century.
Full List is below:
Those should be a bunch of familiar names for MLB fans, even without people realizing all the Pac-12 connections.