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Bears drop one, win one in final day of home series

Cal splits series with Gonzaga, each winning two games

Jeff Weisinger, CGB

Continuation of game 3

The California Golden Bears couldn’t keep up the winning momentum, dropping game three of the home series to the visiting Gonzaga Bulldogs 8-3.

The game, which was postponed due to rain after the sixth inning at 6:58 p.m. on March 4, picked up again at 12:14 p.m. on March 5.

Bears freshman Arman Sabouri took the mound to kick off the seventh, but lasted less than an inning. Sabouri struggled to find the strike zone, walking the first batter he faced, Gonzaga’s Parker Rice, in five pitches. Rice advanced to third after a passed ball and a sacrifice grounder from Gonzaga’s Daniel Fredrickson.

Gonzaga’s lead off man Sam Brown took first after being hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and third for Jeff Bohling.

Although Sabouri struck out Bohling in four pitches, a wild pitch to Tyler Frost let in the tying run as Rice crossed the plate. Sabouri walked Frost, putting Brown in scoring position for Bulldogs cleanup hitter Justin Jacobs.

Cal brought in sophomore right handed pitcher Aaron Shortridge to face Jacobs. Jacobs made contact with the right hander’s first pitch, rolling a grounder past Shortridge into center field for a single that drove home Brown for the go-ahead run.

The Bears closed out the top of the seventh as second baseman Anthony Walters caught a high infield pop-up off the bat of Gonzaga shortstop Gunnar Schubert.

The Bears put Andrew Vaughn and Denis Karas on base in the bottom of the inning but couldn’t get the job done, stranding runners on first and second.

Shortridge struggled against Gonzaga’s offense in the top of the eighth inning. The Bulldogs tallied four runs, taking a 8-3 lead over the Bears going in to the bottom of the inning.

The Bears’ bats remained quiet through the eighth and ninth innings. Cal side arm pitcher Andrew Buckley closed out the game for the Golden Bears, holding Gonzaga at eight runs for a final score of 8-3.

Game 4

The Golden Bears bounced back in the second game of the day, soundly beating the Bulldogs 9-5.

Freshman Rogelio Reyes took the mound for the Bears to kick off the fourth game in the home series against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, throwing the first pitch at 1:50 p.m.

Assisted by solid Cal defense, Reyes pitched a solid first three innings, allowing just one run from a Justin Jacobs homer in the first at-bat of the second inning.

The Bears fought back in the bottom of the third inning. Shortstop Cameron Eden got things started with a high pop double to left field. Jonah Davis followed with a grounder that rolled by Gonzaga shortstop Gunnar Schubert for a single and sent Eden to third. Jeffrey Mitchell Jr. grounded into a double play, but drove Eden home for the tying run.

Jacobs followed up his second-inning homerun in the top of the fourth with a hard hit drive down the center bringing a man home for the go ahead run, pulling Gonzaga ahead of Cal 2-1.

The Bears bats started to warm up in the fifth inning. Eden started the rally with a single, putting a runner on base with one out. Cal leadoff man Jonah Davis followed with a high fly ball deep to centerfield, driving Eden home to tie the game 3-3. Mitchell stepped up to the plate with Davis on second. He hit a chopper that was bobbled by the Gonzaga second baseman, allowing Mitchell to safely reach first and pushing Davis to third. Bears first baseman Vaughn drove in the go-ahead run with a shot that dropped in to center field for a single and drove Davis across the plate.

Cal’s hot streak continued into the sixth inning, tacking five more runs onto their lead. Davis drove in two runs and Mitchell picked up an RBI in the inning. Vaughn capped off the Bear’s scoring, sending a ball sailing over the left field wall for a two-run homer that put Cal six runs ahead of Gonzaga going in to the seventh inning.

“A couple of the guys were being really aggressive,” Bears Coach David Esquer said. “I think Cameron Eden did a nice job of looking for good pitches to hit and getting on base.”

The Bulldogs and Bears scored one run apiece in the seventh inning, putting the score at 9-3 heading in to the eighth inning.

The Bulldogs scored two more runs, one in the eighth inning and one off a Frost homerun in the ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Bears. Cal walked away with a 9-5 victory in the final game of the home series.

Although the Bears won, Esuqer noted several missed scoring opportunities throughout the game. The Bears ended several innings with runners stranded in scoring position.

“We just couldn’t get that knockout punch,” Esquer said. “But, we got enough runs to win.”