Behind a strong 6 innings of pitching from Ryan Mason and solid defense, the Golden Bears took game 1 of this Bay Area series from rival Stanford by a 4-1 result.
Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and never looked back. Ryan Mason picked up the win, and Erik Martinez, after being used for multiple innings of relief in the past couple of weeks, went less than 2 innings (including getting out of a bases loaded, two out jam in the 8th) to get the save.
Cal's senior RF Brian Celsi apparently got hurt before this game, freshman Jonah Davis was pressed into action but had a fine day.
STANFORD, Calif. – The California Golden Bears (25-16, 11-11 Pac-12) knocked off the Stanford Cardinal (21-19, 8-11 Pac-12) 4-1 on Thursday night at Sunken Diamond to take game one of the three game set. Freshman outfielder Jonah Davis made his first career start, picked up his first career hit and drove in his first career run on Thursday, going 2-for-4 for the Bears. Senior righty Ryan Mason (6-2) picked up the win with a quality start, allowing just one run on six scattered hits in six innings and moved into a tie for fourth place on Cal’s all-time wins list, tying Justin Jones (2010-13) and Travis Willis (1987-89), as well as moved into 10th on the all-time innings-pitched list at 304.0. Sophomore closer Erik Martinez secured his eighth save of the season, going 1.1 scoreless to shut the door. Stanford freshman lefty Kris Bubic was saddled with the loss, despite his own six-inning outing.
The two teams will do this again on Friday night, at the same bat-time (7 pm PT), same bat-channel (Pac-12 Networks).
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
California Golden Bears (24-16, 10-11 in Pac-12) at Stanford Cardinal (21-18, 8-10 in Pac-12)
Where: Sunken Diamond (Stanford, CA)
When: 7 pm PT
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Probable pitching matchup: RHP Ryan Mason (5-2, 2.80 ERA) vs. LHP Kris Bubic (0-1, 2.35 ERA)
Bears are back on the road, well, a short trip down to The Farm, and this means more televised Cal Baseball games on TV. All three games of this series (Big Bat?) are televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
So it looks like junior ace Daulton Jefferies will wait at least another week (a non-conference trip to Northwestern, who have a losing record) before returning to action.
The rest of the weekend Big Heater matchup (Thursday through Saturday so the teams get Mother's Day off) is the following:
Friday - RHP Tanner Dodson (2-3, 2.83 ERA) vs. RHP Tristan Beck (4-4, 2.09 ERA)
Saturday - LHP Matt Ladrech (3-3, 4.09 ERA) vs. RHP Chris Castellanos (5-2, 3.77 ERA)
Bears have faced Stanford twice in Berkeley in non-conference games earlier this season. These Big Dinger games were designed so that the Big Game - baseball edition will be played at both schools every season.
Of course, the quality of the pitchers faced for a weekend series should be better than that of the midweek games (last the last two Big Diamond?).
Stanford are coming off a Tuesday win over USF. They lost two out of three the previous weekend to Oregon State. In fact, they has lost 9 of last 12 games (including one to Cal). Bears have also been scuffling after a hot start to the year. Despite still being ranked 24th in the country in one poll, Cal baseball has lost 9 of last 14 games.
The hope of a Pac-12 title has all but slipped away due to the offensive woes of the last few weeks - but the Bears have a fairly favorable schedule to close the regular season (in addition to the impending return of Jefferies that alone will add a lot of depth to the entire pitching staff IF he's back to his early season dominant form). Check back to CGB to discuss this Big Pickle series all weekend.