How about this offensive outpour? Golden Bears pound out 21 hits, lead by senior Brendan Farney who went 4 for 5, en route to an easy 12-2 win over the Oregon Ducks on Friday night. This victory marks the Bears' 7th straight Pac-12 wins and improve the Bears' Pac-12 record to 8-2, a conference best after Utah's 5-2 loss to USC tonight.
After scoring 5 runs in the top of the first to open the game, this game was not really in doubt. Ryan Mason buckled down in the bottom of the first after allowing Oregon to load the bases with no outs. Mason eventually settled down and threw yet another complete game. The senior improves his season record to 5-1 on the year and is now tied for 6th best all-time in Cal program history with 23 career wins.
This was a historical night from Eugene:
Bears actually only hit two homers - Farney and Nick Halamandaris and three doubles - two by Farney, one by Brian Celsi. So 16 of the 21 hits are mere singles. It just goes to show that you don't always need the long ball to win. C Brett Cumberland, 2B Robbie Tenerowicz, and SS Preston Grand Pre each had 3 hits.
Recap from CalBears.com:
The No. 11 Golden Bears (19-7, 8-2 Pac-12) crushed the Oregon Ducks (12-12, 2-5 Pac-12) 12-2 on Friday night at PK Park in Eugene in the first game of the series. Senior outfielder Brenden Farney was 4-for-5 with a home run, a pair of doubles and four RBI, as the Bears registered a season-high 21 hits on the night. Seven Bears had multiple-hit days, and all nine starters had at least one. The 21 hits allowed by the Ducks was the most ever in the program’s modern-day history. Cal senior starter Ryan Mason (5-1) picked up his 23rd career win, which ties him for sixth all-time in wins with former Bear David Cash (1999-2001). Mason tossed a complete game, his second of the year and fourth of his career, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out eight.
"All week we’ve been getting ready for lefties," Farney said following the series-opening win. "It’s very important to get off to a good start. I’m hitting in the five-hole, which means they’ve got to go through Brett Cumberland to get to me, so I see everything. They’ve also got to go through [Mitchell] Kranson, and Aaron [Knapp], and Devin [Pearson]. One through nine, we are really clicking right now. Up and down the lineup and across the whole team; everyone is doing their job and we’re doing what we are supposed to do right now."
The Golden Bears jumped out to a huge lead right out of the gates, posting a five-spot on the board in the top of the first against lefty Cole Irvin (2-3). After recording a quick out, Irvin then allowed three consecutive singles, the third of which drove in a run. After junior centerfielder Aaron Knapp singled through the left side and senior third baseman Mitchell Kranson singled back up the middle to place runners at the corners, sophomore catcher Brett Cumberland gave the Bears a 1-0 lead with an RBI single through the left side. It was 4-0 moments later when Farney put a charge into one for his fourth home run of the season into deep right field. Cal pushed another run across to grab a 5-0 advantage when junior second baseman Robbie Tenerowicz scored all the way from first on an infield single and a throwing error on a ball hit by sophomore shortstop Preston Grand Pre.
Apparently RHP Jeff Bain will take the hill for the Bears for Saturday's game, which unfortunately means that Daulton Jefferies is still not ready for game action. The Golden Bears will face another lefty in Oregon's Matt Krook - a guy who walks a lot of guys while also rake up a decent strikeout total.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
California Golden Bears (18-7, 7-2 in Pac-12) at Oregon Ducks (12-11, 2-4 in Pac-12)
Where: PK Park, Eugene, Oregon
When: 6 pm PT
Free Live Stream: Oregon Live Stream
Probably Pitching Matchup: RHP Ryan Mason (4-1, 2.32 ERA) vs. LHP Cole Irvin (2-2, 2.40 ERA)
No.11 (on the Coaches' Poll) Golden Bears travel north to take on
UC North Oregon Ducks this weekend. Senior Ryan Mason, who heroically picked up the slack at a moment's notice last Friday to beat UCLA, will take the hill for the Bears. Mason is moving his way up the all-time Cal win list. His 22 wins (and 22-8 career Cal record) is currently 7th best. Mason has split time between both starting and closing for the Golden Bears in his career.
Oregon features a number of lefty pitchers. Fortunately for the Bears, they saw almost all lefties on Tuesday against Stanford - a game where the Cal lineup continues to rack.
Sophomore switch-hitting catcher Brett Cumberland continues to smash and leads the Pac in all the important offensive categories - HR, batting average, and RBI. Yes, if the season ends right now, Cumby would have won the Pac-12 triple crown. Defensively, Cumberland threw out two would-be base-stealers on Tuesday. Catching for the first full season (now 3rd baseman Mitchell Kranson was the Bears' top catcher last season) in his college career, Cumberland is getting better and better defensively as well.
Bears currently tie with Utah at the top of the Pac-12 standing with a 7-2 conference record. The lone Pac-12 series lost by the Bears came on the road at USC. Winning this weekend series on the road at Oregon will go a long way toward the Bears' Pac-12 aspirations.
The Ducks, NCAA postseason participants for 5 of the last 6 seasons, are a newish Pac-12 powerhouse (thanks to that Nike money). A program that was only reinstated in 2007 and restarted playing in 2009 (it was cut in 1983), Oregon only took one year to make it back to the NCAA postseason (and started that 5 for 6 year run). Therefore, it is a bit weird to see the Ducks near the bottom of the Pac-12 standings right now.
Ducks had a non-conference match up with Michigan State last weekend where they only played one game (a loss) due to weather. Oregon most recently won their midweek game over Portland, but had lost 4 of the last 5 before that - including a series to Washington (on the road). At home, the Ducks did lose 2 out of 3 to Utah - the co-Pac-12 leader with the Bears.
Ducks are 7-4 at home, but has not hit particularly well. Austin Grebeck leads the team with a slash of 0.274/0.404/0.357. Tim Susnara is another guy who gets on base with a slash of 0.267/0.402/0.360. Obviously both of these guys are more of less slap hitters (the very low slugging percentage). The poppers for the Ducks are Steven Packard (3 HRs) and A.J. Balta (4 HRs) but they bat 0.212 and 0.169 respectively. The team only bats 0.210 as a whole.
The pitching for the Ducks are considerably better but still only merely good. Friday starter Cole Irvin has 46 K's in 48.2 innings, so he's not a huge strikeout guy. Saturday starter Matt Krook has allowed 21 walks in 27.2 innings, but also garner more strike outs per inning with 38 in that duration.
The Golden Bears are clearly the better team based on the performance thus far in 2016.
Tentative Pitching Matchup:
Saturday - TBD vs. LHP Matt Krook (1-1, 4.23 ERA)
Sunday - LHP Matt Ladrech (3-1, 3.18 ERA) vs. TBD
Is that Saturday TBD for the Bears going to be junior ace Daulton Jefferies? I would sure love to see Jefferies back on the mound.
For the Ducks, their usual Sunday starter David Peterson (team leader in ERA with 1.42) missed the road trip last weekend, but is back with the team. If his bullpen session goes well, he will start against the Bears on Sunday.