BERKELEY - Senior first baseman Devon Rodriguez homered over the right field fence in the first inning off of USF starter Grant Goodman, and five Cal pitchers held the Dons scoreless in a 1-0 win Tuesday night at Evans Diamond.
The Golden Bears, who just finished winning two of three games at Stanford, improved to 19-21 overall (7-11 in the Pac-12) in preparation for this coming weekend's three-game series versus No. 2-ranked Oregon State (May 2-4) at Evans Diamond. San Francisco drops to 20-23.
Cal's win Tuesday also avenged an earlier 1-0 loss to the Dons March 8 when Bradley Zimmer's home run to right field defeated the Bears.
The winning pitcher for Cal was freshman right-hander Alex Martinez (1-3), who did a nice job of relieving starter Alex Schick, getting out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning. Martinez went on to throw 5.0 innings with five hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
Bear relievers Chris Muse-Fisher and Trevor Hildenberger were also able to get out of bases loaded jams as the USF stranded 13 base runners. Finally redshirt freshman Jordan Talbott was able to earn his first collegiate save, throwing the ninth inning and getting the final out with a runner on third base.
Besides his home run in the first inning, Rodriguez also got a single in the third inning, but Mike Reuvekamp was thrown out at the plate by Don right fielder Derek Atkinson.
Freshman third Lucas Erceg got the only other hit off of USF's Goodman with a lead-off single in the second inning. Goodman threw a complete game, going 8.0 innings with three hits, one run, no walks and two strikeouts.
"It would have been a shame to have lost this well-played game," said Cal coach David Esquer. "For a team that has been lacking consistency during the season, we are starting to play better and we are getting some momentum. Having (senior shortstop) Mike Reuvekamp back in the line-up after being out (from March 16-April 22 with an injured hand) has been a big help."