March 6, 2012
BERKELEY -Senior center fielder Chad Bunting hit a two-run homer in the third inning to give Cal a 4-3 lead, then the Golden Bears utilized strong relief pitching and timely hitting to produce a 7-5 win over Creighton Tuesday (March 6) afternoon at Evans Diamond. Senior right-hander Joey Donofrio earned the win in relief and junior right-hander Logan Scott nailed down his second save of the season. Junior second baseman Tony Renda and senior catcher Chadd Krist added three hits apiece as Cal won its fifth game in a row to improve to 9-2.
Both teams scored runs in the first inning. The Bluejays scored in the top of the first off of the Bears' sophomore left-hander Michael Theofanopoulos (5.1 innings, six hits, three runs, three walks, five strikeouts) when Chance Ross led off with a triple to right field and scored on Nick Judkins' RBI ground out. The Bears responded with a two-out RBI single by sophomore first baseman Andrew Knapp in the bottom of the first off of Creighton right-hander Nick Musec (4.0 innings, seven hits, five runs) for his team-leading 13th RBI.
The Bluejays score twice more in the second inning on an RBI single by Judkins and a throwing error by Knapp on a play at the plate to take a 3-1 lead. Cal came back with a run in the bottom of the second on senior Danny Oh's RBI single to make the score, 3-2. Then Bunting hit his towering homer over the left field fence with two outs in the third inning to give the Bears a 4-3 advantage.
Cal added another run in the fifth inning on Krist's RBI single up the middle, but Creighton came back to even the score, 5-5, with two runs in the top of the sixth inning on a one-out homer by Mike Gerber and a wild pitch by Donofrio.
The Bears' pitching settled down as Donofrio went on to pick up his second win by throwing 2.2 innings with no hits, no walks and three strikeouts. Scott picked up his second save by pitching the ninth inning (two hits, one strikeout) and stranding two Bluejays on base after Judkins and Scott Thornburg both got two-out hits.
Cal broke the 5-5 tie with a run in the seventh inning on junior Vince Bruno's game-winning RBI single on a high chopper to shortstop. The Bears added an insurance run in the in the eighth inning on another RBI single up the middle by Krist.
Besides Renda's and Krist's three hits, Oh and sophomore shortstop Derek Campbell had two hits apiece.
"This was a good midweek win against an outstanding team," said Cal coach David Esquer. "We knew it was going to be important to get an insurance run in the eighth inning because we knew they (Creighton) weren't going to go away in the ninth. This was a good victory for us,"
The Bears next travel to Nebraska for a four-game series against the Cornhuskers, March 9-12, in Lincoln, Neb. Cal will then begin Pac-12 play hosting Oregon State, March 16-18, at Evans Diamond.