March 19, 2010
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIF. - Powered by junior first baseman Mark Canha's eighth inning grand slam and the effective relief pitching sophomore right-hander Dixon Anderson, the Cal baseball team held on for an 11-9 win over Cal Poly Friday night at Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo. Canha's shot of the left field fence broke a 6-6 tie and then Anderson was able to get out of bases loaded jams in both the bottom of the eight and ninth innings to earn his first save of the season and help the Golden Bears improve to 10-6 on the year. The Mustangs dropped to 6-10.
The winning pitcher for Cal was junior right-hander Kevin Miller (2-2), who relieved sophomore starter Eric Johnson in the sixth inning and went 2.1 innings with four hits, two runs, three walks and six strikeouts. Johnson got a no decision after giving up his first earned runs of the year after starting the season without yielding a run in his first 19.0 innings. He gave up a run in the bottom of the first and finished the game throwing 5.1 innings with seven hits, six runs, two walks and four strikeouts.
Anderson (1.1 innings, one hit, one unearned run, three walks, three strikeouts), who had started four games for the Bears this season, entered the game in the eighth inning and was able to get out of a bases loaded jam when he got David Van Ostrand to strikeout swinging. Then in the bottom of the ninth, after a Canha error at first base allowed an unearned run, Anderson got Ross Brayton to ground out to second base to end the contest.
The losing pitcher for the Mustangs was reliever Jeff Johnson (1.1 innings, one hit, three runs, two walks, three strikeouts). Johnson left the game in the eighth inning after loading the bases, only to see Canha hit a grand slam off fellow reliever Mark DeVincenzi.
Cal had opened the game up by scoring five runs in the top of the first inning off Cal Poly starter Joey Wagman behind some bases loaded walks and an RBI single by freshman third baseman Tony Renda. The Bears added another run in the fifth inning on a fielder's choice RBI by junior second baseman Brian Guinn. But the Mustangs came back with single runs in the first, third and fourth innings, and three runs in the sixth inning.
Cal got some separation from Canha's grand slam in the eighth inning and an RBI double by junior designated hitter Austin Booker in the top of the ninth inning, but continued to be pushed when Cal Poly's Bobby Crocker had a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth and the Mustang's scored their unearned run in the bottom of the ninth.
The Bears will next play the second game of the three-game series, Saturday, March 20 at 6 p.m. at Baggett Stadium.
Cal: Canha, grand slam in the eighth inning.
Cal Poly: None.