Cal Baseball (7-7) returns to 0.500 record on the young season after an impressive 3 game sweep of the Pepperdine Waves from Malibu, California this past weekend. Bears used their bats to take the first game 12-7 (it was 12-3 going to the bottom of the 9th) before strong pitching by freshman Jared Horn (assist to senior closer Erik Martinez) and sophomore Joey Matulovich allowed the Bears to take the Saturday and Sunday games by 3-2 and 3-1 margins, respectively.
Game 1: Cal 12, Pepperdine 7
Three Cal homers in the 5th inning helped Friday starter Tanner Dodson (1-3) to his first win of the season. Outfielder Jonah Davis started the two out rally with a solo shot to break the 2-2 tie. A walk (by Mitchell Jr) and single (by Vaughn) set the stage for a 3-run homer by 3rd baseman Denis Karas. Catcher Tyrus Greene made it a back-to-back with a solo shot of his own. All three homers came off the Pepperdine starter in Ryan Wilson.
Dodson scattered 10 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings while allowing just 2 runs. Hits galore in this game as the Wave recorded 15 hits to the Bears’ 16 hits. 5 Bears had multiple hits with Vaughn and Karas each getting 3 apiece.
After taking a 7-2 lead after the 5th, Bears added 2 and 3 more runs in the 7th and 8th before the Waves scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th to make the result look closer.
Game 2: Cal 3, Pepperdine 2
Cal freshman Jared Horn (1-1) had his most impressive outing to date in this game on Saturday. The young righty went 6.2 innings while striking out 8 batters and scattering 5 hits and 2 walks. After the Waves scored first in the 3rd, the Bears answered with two runs of their own in the 5th to take the lead. Freshman 1st baseman Andrew Vaughn doubled the lead with a solo homer in the 6th inning. Pepperdine starter Max Gamboa struck out 13 Bears in 8.2 innings in a very strong performance.
In the bottom of the 7th, Horn ran into some trouble and left with the tying run on 1st. Senior closer Erik Martinez came in for a 7 out save, but only after immediately allowing an inherited run to score from a double before limiting the damage with a big strike out (one of 4 on the day). Martinez’s 2nd save of the season gave Jared Horn his first collegiate win of his young career.
Game 3: Cal 3, Pepperdine 1
Head coach David Esquer decided to save freshman Rogelio Reyes for tonight’s (Tuesday) midweek game against the visiting Minnesota Golden Gophers. Instead, sophomore Joey Matulovich. Matulovich threw a complete game (5 hits, 0 walks, 10 K’s, 1 earned run) to earn Cal’s Student-Athlete of the Week honor.
Pepperdine scored first in the 4th in this game, but the Bears tied the game up with a run in the 6th on a Andrew Vaughn RBI single. Cal freshman (the team is basically all freshman) Cameron Eden hit the first homer of his collegiate career in the 7th, a two run shot for the final margin.
Bears will play one game tonight at 7:05 pm PT against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (9-6). Stop by the game briefly (and grab a beer from the beer garden? that’s still a thing this year?) just before the NIT 1st round game between Cal Men’s Basketball and CSUB.
Tuesday, March 14, 7:05 p.m.
Cal: RHP Rogelio Reyes (1-1, 5.59 ERA)
Minnesota: RHP Nolan Burchill (1-1, 3.38 ERA)
Golden Bears start Pac-12 play this weekend when the Oregon Ducks (11-4) flock to visit Evans Diamond. Jeff and Marian will have you covered on that series.
D1Baseball.com think fairly highly of the young Cal squad.
The Golden Bears have had an up-and-down first month, to be expected with a young roster. But after sweeping a road series against Pepperdine this weekend, they’re sitting at 7-7 heading into the start of Pac-12 play, and they own solid series wins against Cal Poly and the Waves, plus a four-game split with Gonzaga. Freshman Andrew Vaughn has made a big impact early on in his career, and he led the offense this weekend, recording three straight multi-hit games in Malibu. Overall he went 7-for-13 on the weekend with a homer, four RBIs and four runs. The Bears were counting on him to be a middle-of-the-order run producer right away after he hit .340 with three homers in the fall, and he has delivered as hoped so far, batting .328 with a team-high three homers and 10 RBIs.
Bears are called a “fun team to watch in conference play” in the article.
The 2017 rebuilding is going about as well as one could realistically imagine. Four of the Bears’ current losses came from the tough 4 game road trip at No.11 Texas Tech. Cal Baseball is deserving of your attention. Stop by Evans Diamond to check out the young Golden Bears; several of them will likely be Big Leaguers in the future.