March 24, 1999
LONG BEACH, CA - The University of California baseball team, behind some strong pitching and the hitting of Mike Tonis and Rob Meyer, defeated No. 17 ranked Long Beach State, 5-3, Wednesday in Long Beach. Cal improves to 13-18, while Long Beach State goes to 14-9.
The Bears scored two runs in the first inning off of 49er starter Dan Thomas (0-1) on RBI singles from freshman designated hitter Derek Ayres and sophomore second baseman Clint Hoover. Thomas then settled down and went on to throw 6.0 innings with five hits, two runs, one walk and eight strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Cal pitchers did a good job of shutting down Long Beach State. Bear starter Jason Ball (2-1) pitched the first three innings with two hits, no runs, no walks and two strikeouts. Junior Kevin Johnson replaced Ball in the fourth inning and immediately ran into trouble. Johnson gave up a lead-off double to Jaeme Leal, walked Greg Dobbs, Mike Hota got on base on a fielder's choice, and then Johnson hit Scott Redfox to score Leal.
Junior Jon Cuccias replaced Johnson and proceeded to pick-off Hota at second base and induced Bobby Crosby to hit into a double play to end the fourth inning. Cuccias went on the shutdown the 49ers in the fifth and sixth innings. Junior Brad Steele came in for Cal in the seventh inning and had his best outing of the season, pitching 2.0 innings with one hit, no run, no walks and four strikeouts. David Cash pitched the ninth inning for the Bears, and despite giving up two hits and two unearned runs, had no walks and two strikeouts, striking our Leal to end the game.
Tonis finished the day 2-for-3 and had a key RBI single in the eighth inning. David Sark also had an RBI in the eighth on a sacrifice fly, and junior center fielder Curtis Johnson gave Cal an insurance run with an RBI single in the ninth inning. Sophomore right fielder Meyer was 2-for-4.
Cal will next play a three-game conference series at Arizona State, beginning Friday, Mar. 26 at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium in Tempe, AZ.
Home Runs: Long Beach State: None. Cal: None.