March 8, 2013
BERKELEY - Led by an outstanding start from freshman right-hander Ryan Mason and home runs from Michael Theofanopoulos and Andrew Knapp and Devon Rodriguez.
Mason threw 5.0 innings with three hits, one unearned run, one walk and a season-high seven strikeouts in his first collegiate start. Cal's tall (6-7) right-hander is now 3-0 on the year with a 1.80 ERA and has 13 strikeouts in 10.0 innings. He had won two games in relief for the Bears earlier this season, picking up wins over UC Irvine and Michigan.
Cal scored the first runs of the game in the fourth inning on junior first baseman Michael Theofanopoulos' two-run homer off of Fresno State starter Garrett Mundell (0-2, 4.0 innings, five hits, two runs, two walks, two strikeouts). The Bulldogs came back with an unearned run in the top of the fifth inning on Taylor Ward's sacrifice fly, but from there the Bears' bats got going with three runs in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run double by junior catcher Knapp and a sacrifice bunt RBI by sophomore third baseman Chris Paul to give Cal a 5-1 lead.
Paul had the big hit for Cal in the seventh inning when he knocked a Tyler Stirewalt pitch over the left field fence for a three-run homer to give the Bears the final 8-1 advantage.
Knapp, Rodriguez and sophomore second baseman Michael Lowden, Kyle Porter struck out five Fresno State batters in the final four innings to give Cal pitchers 12 strikeouts on the day.
"We couldn't have asked for a better start from Ryan Mason today," said Cal coach David Esquer. "He had Fresno State off-balanced and he threw strikes. It was a good win for us. We are progressing."
The Bears will next play the third game of the four-game series versus Fresno State, Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond. On Thursday, Cal had defeated the Bulldogs, 5-4, in 10 innings on Farney's sacrifice fly. The Saturday and Sunday Fresno State-Cal contests can be heard on KNEW 960 AM with Jonathan Okanes announcing.