Feb. 15, 2013
BERKELEY - Junior catcher Andrew Knapp hit a bases loaded single up the middle in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Cal baseball a thrilling 5-4 victory over Michigan in the 2013 season-opener for the Golden Bears.
Knapp, a first-team Preseason All-American who was just named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List, got the chance for the game-winner when junior second baseman Derek Campbell to load the bases, setting up Knapp's heroics off of Michigan reliever Jay Perry.
The winning pitcher for the Bears was freshman right-hander Ryan Mason, who was spectacular out of the bullpen, striking out four batters in 1.2 innings, including getting out of a bases loaded jam by striking out the final two batters in the top of the 10th inning.
"This was certainly an exciting season-opener," said Cal coach David Esquer. "It was great to see Andrew (Knapp) come through in the clutch, just like he did his freshman (2011) when he got the game-winning hit against Utah in the season-opener. It was also great to see Devon Rodriguez tie the game in the ninth inning after he had missed the majority of last season (with a right knee injury)."
The losing pitcher for Michigan was reliever Trent Szkutrik (3.0 innings, four hits, two runs, one earned run, two walks, five strikeouts). Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, the Bears were down to their final out when Rodriguez hit a single through the right side of the infield, scoring Celsi.
Michigan had struck early, scoring the first two runs of the game in the second and third innings off of Cal starter Justin Jones. The Bears, however, roared back with two runs in the third inning on RBI singles by sophomore shortstop Chris Paul and Rodriguez.
The Wolverines responded with two more runs in the top of the fourth inning off of Jones to take a 4-2 lead, but Cal plated a run in the bottom of the fourth on Campbell's single up the middle to get within 4-3, before Rodriguez was able to tie the contest in the ninth.
The Bears out-hit Michigan, 15-9, on the day with Knapp and Celsi recording three hits apiece.
The two teams will play the second game of the three-game series, Saturday, Feb. 16, at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond. The final game of the series will be Sunday, Feb. 17 at 11 a.m. at Evans Diamond.