BERKELEY - San Francisco's Bradley Zimmer produced the only run in a pitcher's duel when he hit a home run to right field off of Cal freshman Alex Martinez in the sixth inning to lift the Dons (7-6) to a 1-0 victory over the Golden Bears Saturday night (March 8) at Evans Diamond.
Cal (8-5) will next host Arkansas in a doubleheader Sunday in a 1 p.m. start at Evans Diamond to conclude the Cal Baseball Classic. In an earlier game Saturday, Arkansas shutout Tulane, 4-0.
On Friday, the Bears lost to Tulane, 10-5.
Saturday's contest was a heartbreaker for David Esquer's squad. After Zimmer's homer off of Martinez (0-1, 5.1 innings, six hits, one run, two walks, three strikeouts), Cal had a chance to tie or take the lead in the eighth inning. Sophomore John Soteropulos led off the inning with a pinch-hit single off USF left-hander Christian Cecilio (7.1 innings, six hits, no walks, seven strikeouts). Mike Reuvekamp then advanced pinch runner Aaron Knapp with a sacrifice bunt, followed by a single to right-center field by sophomore Devin Pearson. Senior left field Vince Bruno then was walked by reliver Ben Graff to load the bases.
Unfortunately for Cal, Graff was able to get senior DH Devon Rodriguez to ground into a 1-2-3 inning ending double play. The Don's Houston Hibberd earned his second save by shutting down the Bears in the bottom of the ninth.
Junior third baseman Chris Paul led Cal with two hits on the night. Both teams finished with six hits apiece.