April 12, 2013
BERKELEY - For the second game in a row the Cal baseball lost a close contest to an elite team, falling to No. 9-ranked Oregon, 3-2, Friday night at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears (16-17, 5-8), who were limited to three hits off of Duck starter Tommy Thorpe (5-3, 7.1 innings, one earned run, three walks, seven strikeouts), scored in the sixth inning when junior shortstop Mike Reuvekamp doubled and later scored on a wild pitch to get within a run.
However, the Ducks' (25-8, 10-3) two runs in the fifth inning off of Cal freshman right-hander Ryan Mason (4-2, 5.0 innings, eight hits, three runs, one walk, two strikeouts) proved to be the difference. In their last contest, the Bears had fallen to defending national champ Arizona, 5-4, on April 7.
"I am encouraged by how we are playing, but we have to break through that barrier and win games against some tough competition," said Cal coach David Esquer. "The competition we are facing is getting better, so our young players are going to need to get used to playing at a higher level."
Oregon scored a run in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Mitchell Tolman off of Mason, but the Bears answered with a run in the bottom of the first when freshman center fielder Devin Pearson led-off with a bunt single and eventually advanced to third base on Thorpe's errant pick-off attempt. Pearson then scored on junior designated hitter Devon Rodriguez's RBI groundout to second base.
The Ducks regained the lead with two runs in the fifth inning when Josh Graham led off with a double down the left field line and scored on J.J. Altobelli's single. Altobelli later scored on Aaron Payne's sacrifice fly to left field to make the score, 3-1.
After Oregon's two runs in the fifth inning, the Bears brought in junior right-hander Trevor Hildenberger, who was outstanding, throwing 4.0 perfect innings with no hits, no walks and five strikeouts.
Cal will next host the Ducks in the second game of the three-game Pac-12 series, Saturday, April 13 at 6 p.m. at Evans Diamond. The final game of the series will be Sunday, April 14 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond.
Sunday is Public Safety Day at Evans Diamond. Personnel from UCPD units and the CIty of Berkeley's Fire and Police Departments will be on hand to interact with the public and to demonstrate a variety of public safety procedures and equipment. Activities begin at 12 noon, one hour before first pitch, so fans can come out to support Cal Baseball and local public safety agencies.