April 2, 1999
BERKELEY, CA - The University of California baseball team, behind two home runs from sophomore catcher Mike Tonis and outstanding pitching by sophomore right-hander Ryan Atkinson, defeated UCLA, 4-3, Friday in Berkeley. Cal improves to 15-21, 4-4 in the Pac-10, while UCLA falls to 15-22, 1-7 in league. The Bears defeated the Bruins, 14-12, Thursday. UCLA has now lost eight games in a row.
Cal won its second conference game in a row over UCLA with strong play from Tonis and Atkinson. Tonis gave the Bears a 2-0 lead when he hit a two-run homer off of Bruin starter Dan Keller (1-2, 5.0 innings, six hits, three runs, five walks, four strikeouts) in the third inning. Tonis struck again with his second home run of the day, a lead-off homer in the fifth inning to give Cal a 3-0 lead. The Bears added a run in the sixth inning on an RBI double by Xavier Nady.
Meanwhile, Cal received a solid effort from Atkinson (2-6, five hits, three runs, two walks, two strikeouts) as he did not give up a hit until UCLA's Jake Santora led-off the sixth inning with a solo home run. Atkinson then struggled with two-outs in the eighth inning, giving up three straight hits, including a two-run double by Eric Reece to make the score, 4-3. The Bears Jason Ball walked his first batter faced, but was then able to get out of the inning when Garrett Atkins hard hit grounder was fielded by Cal shortstop Jason Williams, who was able to force the runner out at third.
After Ball gave up a single to Brian Baron to lead-off the top of the ninth inning, Bear reliever Jon Cuccias was able to earn his second save of the season when pinch runner Nick Lyon was forced out at second on a grounder hit by Aldo Pinto. Pinto was later thrown out by Tonis trying to steal second, and Charles Merrick grounded out to second to end the game.
Cal will next play the third game of the three-game conference series versus UCLA, Saturday, April 3 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond on the Cal campus.
Home Runs: UCLA: Santora, solo home run in the sixth. Cal: Tonis, two-run homer in the third. Tonis, solo home run in the fifth.