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Cal Baseball drops heartbreaker 8-6 to Stanford

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Bears were one strike away from a hard fought win but instead has to stomach a frustrating 8-6 loss to Stanford. 7 game winning streak is now history.

What's the nickname for the baseball version of the Big Game?
What's the nickname for the baseball version of the Big Game?
Pac-12 Networks twitter

One strike away from a win, Bears allows a game tying single (good throw from center would have gotten the tying run) and then a two-run, no-doubt homer.

It is bad when one loses in this fashion. It is that much more disappointing when the opponent is Stanford.

I hate this, but include it here for completeness:

I hate this even more:

And really? Pac-12 Network?

This loss hurts, but fortunately is only a non-conference game (Bears are still in great position to challenge for the Pac-12 title). 7 game winning streak is over, but the Bears can start a new one against Oregon on Friday.

GO BEARS!

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California Golden Bears (18-6, 7-2) vs. Stanford Cardinal (14-8, 4-2)

Where: Evans Diamond

When: 7 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks, Pac-12 Bay Area

Pitching Matchup: Cal freshman RHP Tanner Dodson (0-2, 3.12 ERA) vs. Stanford 5th year senior LHP John Hochstatter (0-0, 4.50 ERA)

Winner of 7 straight, all in the current homestand, the Golden Bears will look to make it a perfect homestand when they host Bay Area rival Stanford for a non-conference match today. The Golden Bears will play at Stanford for the Pac-12 counting 3 game series later this year. The midweek games today and on Tuesday, April 19th allow Cal fans to see the baseball version of the Big Game to also take place in Berkeley.

With the winning streak, the Bears are understandably moving up on the rankings.

Thanks to his 2 homers and 4 RBIs on Sunday, catcher Brett Cumberland has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week. For the week (4 games including the midweek USF game), Cumberland went 8-for-13 (.625) with three home runs and seven RBI.

For the season, the sophomore Cumberland is now hitting a Pac-12 best 0.425 with 10 homers and a slash line of 0.425/0.552/0.904. He also has 26 RBI (for those who cares about that stat). That's beer league softball numbers. And when I say Pac-12 best, Cumberland is leading (by a wide margin) in batting, on-base, slugging, and homers (next guy only has 5 dingers). He is also the RBI leader but only by 2 there.

These mid-week games are sometimes full of craziness because the teams typically save their top pitchers for the weekend; it is fairly typical for these games to get out of hand when one team jumps out to a big lead and knock out the opposing starter - losing team then starts to give some experiences to young guys who don't typically get to play much. For the weekend sweep of UCLA, the Bears had to dip into their depth due to ace Daulton Jefferies being scratched from his start. Even if Jefferies is ready to go this week, he will be saved for game 1 of the Pac-12 series at Oregon this weekend (those games are all streamed online, by the way).

Stanford are coming off a weekend where they took 2 out of 3 from the visiting USC. Against common enemies as the Bears, Cardinal took 2 out of 3 from USC at home (Bears only won one against the Trojans but that series was on the road) and split the 4 games with Texas down in Austin (Bears were the first team in history to sweep Texas in a 4 game series down in Austin).

Freshman Tanner Dodson will start this one for the Golden Bears. Dodson started the year as a potential closer option for the Bears (sophomore Erik Martinez has since put a tight grip on that role) and has been used in several high leverage situations this year. This will be his 2nd start of his young career.

Stanford lefty John Hochstatter had started several games for the Cardinal in his sophomore and junior years. He got hurt in his 2nd start last year and wind up missing the rest of the year.

The Cal-Stanford games are always fun, especially when the Bears are the favorite. I am looking forward to watch this game (probably while also checking out MLB actions and living in baseball bliss tonight).

GO BEARS!