Feb. 26, 2012
Cal sophomore left-hander Michael Theofanopoulos only allowed two hits in 7.0 innings (0-1, two hits, two runs, two walks, three strikeouts), but yielded two runs in the second inning as Long Beach State went on to capture the third game of the series, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at Blair Field in Long Beach. The 49ers had won game one, 7-4, Friday night, but the Golden Bears (4-2) came back to win Saturday night's contest, 2-1 in 11 innings.
Long Beach State scored its two runs when Theofanopoulos walked Juan Avila on a full count to start the bottom of the second inning. Theofanopoulos then hit Jonathan Kim with a pitch to put runners on first and second base. Jeff Yamaguchi sacrificed to put runners on second and third base. Theofanopoulos was able to strikeout Josh Guerra for one out, but threw a wild pitched that allowed Avila to score, and then gave up an RBI single to right field to Kellen Hoime that scored Kim.
Cal, which had five hits on the day, got its lone run in the fourth inning off of Long Beach State starter Ryan Strufing (2-0, 8.0 innings, five hits, one run, no walks, five strikeouts). Junior designated hitter Vince Bruno started the inning off with a single to left field and scored on senior center fielder Chad Bunting's RBI double to left field. Junior second baseman Tony Renda followed with a single to right field that advanced Bunting to third base, but Strufing was able to get out of the inning by striking out Chadd Krist and forcing Andrew Knapp to hit into a double play to end the inning.
Besides the hits by Bruno, Bunting and Renda, junior third baseman Mitch Delfino finished the day 2-for-3 with a double. Senior right-hander Joey Donofrio replaced Theofanopoulos in the eighth inning and did not give up any hits and struck out two batters. Jon Macial earned the save for Long Beach State by pitching a scoreless ninth inning, getting two fly outs and a ground out.
"It was a tough series against a sound Long Beach State team," said Cal coach David Esquer. "We pitched extremely well in Saturday and Sunday's games. We just could not put together consistent offense. Sunday's game was there for us, but we could not drive in a runner from third base with less than two outs on three occasions. We have to take advantage of those opportunities to defeat good teams."
The Bears next host the University of San Francisco on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 1:30 p.m. at Evans Diamond.