AUBURN, ALA. - Led by the hitting of senior left fielder Vince Bruno and the pitching of junior left-hander Michael Theofanopoulos, Cal baseball (5-2) won its third straight game of the Tiger Classic with an 8-3 victory over Arkansas Pine Bluff Sunday (Feb. 23) in Auburn, Ala. Bruno finished the day going 2-for-3 with a two-run homer in the first inning and a career-high four RBI. Theofanopoulos (1-1) earned his first win of the season by throwing 6.0 innings with two hits, two earned runs, two walks and a career-high nine strikeouts.
The Golden Bears produced two shutouts during the Tiger Classic, defeating East Tennessee State, 3-0, on Friday and host Auburn, 5-0, on Saturday.
On Sunday against Arkansas Pine Bluff (0-9), Cal jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on Bruno’s two-run homer, followed by a solo home run by senior designated hitter Devon Rodriguez. Arkansas Pine Bluff came back with two runs in the top of the third inning, but the Bears put the game away with four runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run single by Bruno and an RBI single by Rodriguez. Cal also scored a run on a double steal, scoring senior shortstop Mike Reuvekamp from third base.
The Bears added another run in the sixth inning when sophomore catcher Mitchell Kranson hit his second double of the day and scored on sophomore center fielder Devin Pearson’s RBI single.
"It was nice to get three wins on the road," said Cal coach David Esquer. "The guys came out and played hard. Bruno and Rodriguez set the tone with their back-to-back home runs in the first inning. It was not our best total game, but good enough for a win."
The Bears will next travel to another tournament, competing at the University of San Diego Tournament, Feb. 28-March 3, opening versus Baylor on Friday, Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. Cal will face UNC Wilmington on March 1 at 3 p.m., followed by games versus host San Diego, March 2 (11 a.m.) and March 3 (3 p.m.).