Feb. 24, 2012
LONG BEACH, CALIF. -Senior right fielder Danny Oh hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to get No. 20 Cal within 5-4, but that was as close as the Golden Bears (3-1) would get, falling to host Long Beach State, 7-4, Friday evening at Blair Field in Long Beach. Cal junior left-hander Justin Jones (1-1, 3.0 innings, four runs, three walks, one strikeout) gave up three runs in the third inning to the 49ers to suffer his first loss of the season. Junior second baseman Tony Renda and junior designated hitter Vince Bruno had two hits and an RBI apiece for the Bears.
Long Beach State scored a run in the bottom of the first inning off of Jones when Ino Patron got in a run down between first and second base, allowing Johnny Bakakis to score before an out was made. Cal was able to tie the score, 1-1, in the top of the third inning when sophomore shortstop Derek Campbell had a one-out walk, advanced to second on junior left fielder Darrel Matthew's ground out and scored on Renda's RBI single to left field.
But the 49ers exploded for three runs in the bottom of the third inning to grab control of the game, 4-1. Jeff McNeil scored on a Jones' wild pitch and Patron knocked in two more runs with a single up the middle.
The Bears scratched another run in the fourth inning when senior catcher Chadd Krist was hit by Long Beach State starter Shawn Stuart (1-0, 5.2 innings, three hits, four runs, six walks, three strikeouts). Krist then advanced to second base on a Stuart wild pitch and scored on Bruno's RBI single to right field to make the score, 4-2.
The 49ers added a run in the fifth inning on Richard Prigatano's sacrifice fly to center field off of Cal's sophomore reliever Trevor Hildenberger (3.0 innings, three hits, two runs, one earned run, two walks) for a 5-2 lead.
Oh tightened the ballgame to 5-4 with his two-run homer to right field after Bruno had forced a two-out walk off of Stuart in the sixth inning, but that was all the scoring for the Bears. Long Beach State added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when the 49ers scored on a Renda throwing error, and had another run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Jeff Yamaguchi for the final 7-4 margin.
Renda, the 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year and a first-team Preseason All-American by Baseball America, leads the Bears with a .571 average (8-for-14), while Bruno is second on the team, batting .400 (4-for-10).
Cal will next play Long Beach State in the second game of the three-game series, Saturday, Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Blair Field. The third game of the series will be at 1 p.m., Sunday.