Throw the last game out the window, this was the home opener these Bears are capable of. Cal tied their series against the St. Mary’s Gaels 1-1 in a triumphant blowout for their first home win of the season.
When opposing pitchers are scared of a monster under their bed, it’s actually just Andrew Vaughn. He literally swung at the first pitch he saw in the game and shot it over the right-field fence like he was wielding the Mjölnir. He took himself and the lead-off batter home for two runs in the bottom of the second. He hit his second two-run home run of the game later in the fifth inning. Vaughn boasts a .500 batting average to go along with 15 hits, five home runs and 13 RBIs, all team leads.
Cal held a slight lead of 2-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning. The offense exploded for eight run and seven hits, by far a season high in both categories, to completely pull away from St. Mary’s.
“Hits were falling with a couple of big knocks by McIlwain and Eden. Everything just kinda fell together and the runs kept coming,” Hance Smith said.
Brandon McIlwain and Cameron Eden each hit a two-run homer. McIlwain drew blood first with a two-run shot to put Cal up 4-0. Following his homer, Santa Rosa Junior College transfer Hance Smith showed extreme patience at the plate and it resulted in his second double of 2019. He only has three hits this season, but two of them are extra base hits.
“Im just looking for my pitch, I’ve gotten them in the past couple games. Im just looking to put a good barrel on it,” Smith said.
Eden brought Smith home with his first home run of 2019. The homerun catapulted to the score to 6-0 and really put pressure on St. Mary’s to counter.
The scoring frenzy sparked St. Mary’s head coach to make a change at the mound in hopes to cool down the Bears hot bats. This did not improve anything.
Darren Baker, Grant Holman and Sam Wezniak bullied on the new pitcher. Each player hit an RBI single in three consecutive at-bats, with Baker batting in two. The score skyrocketed from 6-0 to 10-0 after the pitching change severely backfired. St. Mary’s made another pitching change to get out of the fourth inning and stop the bleeding.
After game one of the series got out of hand as a result of the inexperienced bullpen, Cal went on the side of precaution by opening with their most experienced pitcher, lefty Arman Sabouri. 1-2-3 he chopped down St. Mary’s first three batters with two impressive strikeouts and fly out to center field.
He stayed hot in the top of the second inning and struck out another two batters to stack his season total of K to 12. Sabouri’s outing was limited to two innings and he was replaced by the workhorse pitcher, Sam Stoutenborough.
The Freshman made his third appearances in seven games this season. Hits outs were not pretty, but he ground each inning out. Stoutenborough’s play played with tons of grit. He did a tremendous job luring St. Mary’s batters into taking unfavorable pitches, resulting in of ground outs and fly outs. He struck out four while walking two and giving up a single earned run.
The Golden Bears(5-4) hit the road to finish their four-game series against St.
Mary’s(5-5) at 1 p.m. March 2 in Moraga, Ca.