May 2, 1999
BERKELEY, CA - The California Baseball team, led by an outstanding pitching effort from sophomore right-hander Ryan Atkinson and home runs by freshman Derek Ayres and sophomore Rob Meyer, defeated visiting Arizona, 8-2, Sunday at Evans Diamond. Cal improves to 24-30 overall and 9-12 in the Pacific-10 Conference, while Arizona falls to 31-20, 11-10 in league. The Bears had defeated the Wildcats, 4-0, Friday, lost 6-5 Saturday and won the rubber match, 8-2, Sunday.
Atkinson was outstanding for Cal as he pitched 7.3 innings with four hits, two runs, three walks and six strikeouts to improve his record to 4-7. He did not give up a hit between the third and sixth innings and at one point retired 11 consecutive Wildcat batters. Atkinson gave up his two runs in the eighth inning when Arizona's Keoni DeRenne had an RBI single, followed by an RBI single by Shelley Duncan off of Bear reliever Jon Cuccias.
However, Cuccias ended up earning his fourth save of the season when he forced Ernie Durazo to hit into a bases loaded double play in the eighth inning and was able to get out of runners on first and second situation in the ninth inning.
Offensively, Cal scored in the bottom of the first on a wild pitch by Arizona starter Mike Crawford (4-5, 6.0 innings, nine hits, six runs, two walks, seven strikeouts), scoring Curtis Johnson. In the third inning, the Bears got three more runs on a three-run homer by Ayres. Cal was able to score twice more in the seventh on a bases loaded grounder hit by Mike Tonis and an RBI single by Clint Hoover. After Arizona scored its two runs in the top of the eighth, Meyer was able to give the Bears some breathing room with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth for the final 8-2 tally.
Besides Ayres and Meyer's home runs, Johnson was 3-for-5 with a double, two stolen bases and two runs scored. Senior left fielder Preston Sharp was 2-for-3 for Cal. Duncan had two hits for the Wildcats.
The Bears two home runs Sunday gives Cal 80 home runs for the season, which ties a school record with the 1991 squad for team home runs in a single season.
Cal will next host UC Davis, Tuesday, May 4 at 2:30 p.m. at Evans Diamond, before traveling to Pullman, WA for a three-game series versus Washington State, beginning May 8 at 7 p.m.
Home Runs: Arizona: None. Cal: Ayres, three-run homer in the third. Meyer, two-run homer in the eighth.