March 16, 2010
BERKELEY, CALIF. - The University of California baseball team (9-5), which just finished going 2-2 last weekend at then-No. 9-ranked Rice, returns home for a non-conference game against Houston (8-5), Wednesday, March 17 at 2:30 p.m. at Evans Diamond. Last weekend at Reckling Field in Houston, the Golden Bears won the first two games of the four-game series against the highly-ranked Owls, 8-6 and 6-4. Houston is fresh off a sweep of Cal Poly - 13-8, 6-2 and 5-3 - March 12-14 in San Luis Obispo. The Cougars play at San Francisco Tuesday (March 16).
Starting on the mound Wednesday for Cal will be senior left-hander Chris Petrini, who finished 4-3 last season with a 3.98 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 43.0 innings. Petrini ended the 2009 season on a high note when he threw a complete-game, two-hit shutout (6-0) of USC. In that game he only yielded one walk and tied a career-high with nine strikeouts against the Trojans. Freshman right-hander James Conlee (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is slated to start on the mound for Houston.
Cal, despite losing the last two games of the Rice series, 26-11 and 7-4, had some outstanding performances in Houston. In game one March 11, sophomore right-hander Erik Johnson threw 6.0 innings with two hits, no runs, one walk and six strikeouts in the 8-6 win. He is 3-0 on the year and has not given up an earned run in 19.0 innings. In those 19.0 innings, Johnson has recorded 20 strikeouts with only four walks.
On March 12, freshman left-hander Justin Jones threw the Bears' first complete game of the season in a 6-4 win, going 9.0 innings and limiting Rice to four runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts to improve his record to 3-1. Jones has now recorded 27 strikeouts in 30.0 innings this season.
At the plate, Cal hit six home runs against the Owls, including two by freshman third baseman Tony Renda, who finished the series 5-for-15 with a triple, two home runs and seven RBI. Other top performers at the plate included junior first baseman Mark Canha; who was 10-for-18 (.556) with three doubles, a home run and six RBI; and sophomore catcher Chadd Krist; who went 6-for-14 (.429) with four doubles, a home run and four RBI. Krist is the Bears' leading hitter on the year, batting .462 (24-for-52) with eight doubles, a triple, five home runs and 15 RBI.
After hosting Houston Wednesday, Cal will travel to Cal Poly, March 19-21, for a three-game series at Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo. Game times are 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.