Feb. 20, 2011
BERKELEY -Freshman Andrew Knapp hit a game-winning pinch-hit RBI single to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the No. 17-ranked Cal baseball team to a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over Utah in the second game of a doubleheader Sunday (Feb. 20) at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears had won game one of the series Sunday morning in a 7-0 shutout.
Knapp, whose father, Mike, was a standout catcher for the Bears in the mid-80's, put the final touches on an impressive comeback for Cal in the ninth inning of game two. Down 5-2, the Bears scored four runs to improve to 2-0 on the year. With one out, sophomore first baseman Devon Rodriguez scored sophomore second baseman Tony Renda with an RBI single down the first base line to get Cal within, 5-3. Then later in the inning with two outs, sophomore left fielder Darrel Matthew hit a bases loaded two-run single to left field off Utah reliever Brock Duke to tie the game, 5-5. Knapp followed with the game-winning single off Duke to score Danny Oh.
Matthews finished the second game of the doubleheader 2-for-4 with three RBI after an RBI single in the second inning. Junior catcher Chadd Krist and Renda also had two hits for the Bears in game two. The winning pitcher was sophomore Logan Scott, who replaced sophomore left-hander Justin Jones (7.0 innings, eight hits, five runs, two earned runs, one walk, five strikeouts) and went an effective 2.0 innings with no hits, no runs, no walks and two strikeouts.
"Once we tied the game in the ninth inning we really felt it was just a matter of time before we would win the game," said Cal coach David Esquer, whose Bears squad played in front a combined crowd of 926 fans for the 2011 season-opener at Evans Diamond. "Much like we feel about this season, we approached this game with the attitude that we were not going to give up. We are going to keep on fighting. I am extremely proud of our guys,"
In the morning 7-0 shutout of Utah in game one of a doubleheader, Cal junior right-hander Erik Johnson was stellar, throwing 7.0 innings with three hits, no runs, no walks and eight strikeouts.
Hitting stars for the Bears were Renda, Rodriguez and Mitch sophomore third baseman Mitch Delfino with two hits apiece. Rodriquez gave Cal its first run with an RBI double in the sixth inning off Utah starter Rick Anton (5.2 innings, three hits, one run, one walk, five strikeouts).
The Bears put the game out of reach with a six-run eighth inning behind a key two-run double by Knapp and a grand slam to left field by Delfino.
Senior right-hander Kevin Miller earned the save for Cal by throwing the final two innings with one hit, one walk and three strikeouts.
The Bears next travel to No. 13-ranked and Bay Area rival Stanford, Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. at Sunken Diamond.