June 3, 2011
HOUSTON, TEXAS -The Cal baseball team made a valiant comeback by scoring a run in the seventh inning and three runs in the eighth, but still fell to No. 2-seed Baylor, 6-4, Friday (June 3) in NCAA regional action at Rice's Reckling Park. Junior catcher Chadd Krist was an offensive force for the Golden Bears, hitting a double and a triple before driving in a Cal run with an RBI single in the eighth inning. The Golden Bears fell to 31-21 overall, and Baylor improved to 30-26. Cal will next play Alcorn State (27-29), who lost 14-2 to No. 1-seed Rice, on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m. CT (12 p.m. PT).
Down 6-0 after giving up all of Baylor's runs in the first three innings, Cal was able to shutdown its opponent behind solid relief pitching of sophomore right-handers Logan Scott and Joey Donofrio to get back into the game.
The Golden Bears got on the scoreboard with a run in the seventh inning on Chad Bunting's RBI groundout, and then scored three runs in the eighth inning off of Baylor starter Logan Verrett (7-5, 7.0 innings, three runs, two walks, four strikeouts). With one out in the eighth, senior left fielder Austin Booker single to left field, followed by sophomore second baseman Tony Renda's single. Krist then scored Booker with a single to left, junior shortstop Marcus Semien drove in Renda with a single to right-center field and Devon Rodriguez plated Krist with a single to left-center field.
Cal had an opportunity to score more runs in the top of the ninth when freshman third baseman Derek Campbell led off with a single to left field and later advanced to second base when Booker had a two-out walk. Unfortunately for the Golden Bears, their top hitter, Renda, flew out to left field to end the game.
"We just gave Baylor too much early in the game and created a mountain that was too tough to climb out of," said Cal coach David Esquer, who has led the Golden Bears to an NCAA regional three of the last four years. "We made a good effort to come back, and with Tony (Renda) up in the ninth inning, I liked our chances. I am proud of our team as we have been coming back like this all year long. Our relief pitching did an outstanding job of keeping us in the game."
Baylor scored a run in the bottom of the first inning on Josh Ludy's two-out RBI single under the glove of Cal junior right-hander Erik Johnson (6-4, 2.1 innings, three hits, five runs, six walks, one strikeout), and added two runs in the second inning on a Johnson wild pitch and Ware Lanis' RBI single over first baseman Rodriguez's head. Finally, Johnson was able to get out of the second inning when sophomore third baseman Mitch Delfino made a fine defensive play on a slow roller with the bases loaded.
Baylor tacked on three more runs in the third inning on an RBI single by Steve DalPorto, a sacrifice bunt RBI by Landis and an RBI single by Cal Towey.
Sophomores Scott and Donofrio kept Cal in the game. Scott went 3.0 innings with three hits and one run, throwing 34 pitches with 23 strikes. Donofrio threw 2.0 innings with one hit, no runs, one walk and three strikeouts.
Krist finished the day 3-for-4 with a single, double and triple, and was robbed of a extra base hit in the seventh inning by a diving catch by Baylor center fielder Logan Vick. Krist's double in the second inning was his Pac-10 leading 23rd of the season, third on Cal's all-time single-season list. Booker and Semien added two hits apiece, with Semien hitting a triple and scoring on Bunting's ground out in the seventh inning. The Golden Bears out-hit Baylor, 11-7, and had four extra-base hits.