April 19, 2013
BERKELEY - The Cal baseball team (17-20, 6-10) received outstanding pitching from freshman right-hander Ryan Mason, sophomore second baseman Brenden Farney had a key two-run double and junior designated hitter Devon Rodriguez hit a two-run homer as the Golden Bears gave head coach David Esquer his 400th career victory with a 4-2 win over Washington State (18-17, 5-8) Friday night (April 19) at Evans Diamond.
Mason improved his record to 5-2 by pitching 6.0 innings with six hits, one run, no walks and four strikeouts. Sophomore second baseman Farney gave Cal its initial spark when he hit a two-run double in the third inning off of Cougar sophomore left-hander Joe Pistorese (4-3), who threw a complete game (8.0 innings) with eight hits, two earned runs, no walks and 11 strikeouts.
The Bears upped their lead to 4-0 when junior catcher Andrew Knapp had a one out single down the right field line, followed by Rodriguez's two-run line drive homer over the right field fence.
WSU came back with single runs in the seventh and ninth innings to threaten, but Cal senior relievers Logan Scott (2.2 innings, two hits, one run, no walks, one strikeout) and Justin Jones (save, got pinch hitter Ian Sagdal to fly out to left field for the final out) to preserve the win that snapped an eight-game skid for the Bears.
Esquer captured his 400th career win (400-358-2) in his 14th season directing the Cal program, which includes a National Coach of the Year honor and a College World Series appearance in 2011.
"Our starting pitching by Ryan Mason was the key to our win tonight," said Esquer. "Ryan got us going and then Brenden Farney was able to get that two-run double to give us some runs and some momentum. As far as my 400th win, every coach knows that it is good players who provide you with the victories. If you stick around long and have the number of good players we have had in the program, you are going to get your wins."
Cal will next host Washington State in the second game of the three-game series, Saturday, April 20 at 6 p.m. at Evans Diamond. On Saturday night the Golden Bears will also be honoring Cal's 1988 College World Series team that featured future Major League standouts Jeff Kent and Darren Lewis. The '88 team, coached by Bob Milano and captained by Darryl Vice and John Correa, finished the season 40-25 and earned the school's fourth appearance in the CWS and was one of only three Golden Bear teams to win 40 or more games in a single season.