AUBURN, ALA. – The Cal baseball team (4-2) completed its second shutout in a row and its third of the season with a 5-0 victory over host Auburn (3-3) Saturday night (Feb. 22) at the Tiger Classic in Auburn, Ala. Five Golden Bear pitchers, including freshman reliever Alex Schick who picked up the win, scattered seven hits and had seven strikeouts to lead Cal to a 2-0 record at the tournament in Alabama.
On Friday, the Bears had shutout East Tennessee State, 3-0, and in the Feb. 14 season-opener versus Texas in Berkeley, Cal shutout the Longhorns, 7-0.
Offensively, the Bears were led by sophomore first baseman Nick Halamandaris and junior third baseman Brenden Farney with two RBI apiece, while senior designated hitter Devon Rodriguez picked up two hits.
Cal scored its first run of the game in the second inning on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Mitchell Kranson off of Auburn starter Michael O’Neal (0-2, 5.0 innings, four hits, four runs, four walks, two strikeouts), scoring freshman second baseman Robbie Tenerowicz.
Meanwhile, Schick (1-1, 2.0 innings, one hit, no walks, two strikeouts) got out of a bases load jam in the fifth inning after replacing senior left-hander Kyle Porter (3.0 innings, four hits, one walk, two strikeouts) in the fourth inning. Porter had gotten out of a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the first inning.
In the top of the sixth inning Cal exploded for three runs on a bases loaded walk by Halamandaris and a two-run single to left field by Farney, to take a 4-0 lead. The Bears added an insurance run in the seventh inning on an RBI single through the middle of the infield by Halamandaris.
"It was a tougher game than it may have appeared," said Cal coach David Esquer. "We got a staff win today as all our pitchers held them scoreless. We got some timely hits that gave us the runs we needed. Farney and Halamandaris came through with two of those key hits, and Devin Pearson did a great job of getting on base all game long."
The Bears conclude the Tiger Classic playing Arkansas Pine Bluff Sunday, Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. (Central Time).