June 5, 2011
HOUSTON, TEXAS -Overcoming a two hour and 43 minute lightening delay, the California baseball team continued its 2011 season with a 6-3 victory over No. 9-ranked Rice Sunday (June 5) in NCAA regional action at Rice's Reckling Park. After scoring a run in the seventh inning on senior left fielder Austin Booker's RBI single that tied the game, 3-3, the Golden Bears had to wait over two hours before scoring three runs in the bottom of the eight on three Owl errors and an RBI single by sophomore second baseman Tony Renda.
Junior closer Matt Flemer (3-2, 1.2 innings, one hit, two walks, one strikeout) was able to close out the Rice game after getting Ryan Lewis to ground out to Renda with runners on first and second base to end the Owls' season (42-21). With the win, Cal improved to 33-21 overall, and plays No. 2-seed Baylor game in a second game Sunday, beginning at 9:15 p.m. CT.
Rice scored the first two runs of the game in the second inning via three errors by Bear junior right-hander Dixon Anderson (4.2 innings, two hits, three runs, one earned run, three walks, four strikeouts), two on throws to first base after fielding bunts, and one on a pickoff attempt. Fortunately for the Bears, Anderson was able to get out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts and a pop-up to shortstop Semien.
Cal came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth off of Rice starter Matthew Reckling (5.0 innings, three hits, two runs, two walks, five strikeouts). Sophomore first baseman Devon Rodriguez led off the inning with a single. Then with two outs, sophomore center fielder Darrel Matthews was hit by a pitch. Both Rodriguez and Matthews moved up a base on a Reckling wild pitch before sophomore designated hitter Vince Bruno knocked both players in with a two-run single up the middle to tie the score, 2-2.
Rice jumped back into the lead, 3-2, when Keenan Cook hit a one-out homer over the right field fence off of Anderson, but Cal again battled back when sophomore center fielder Darrel Matthews led off the seventh inning with a single up the middle off of Rice reliever Tyler Duffy (8-2, 3.0 innings, four hits, four runs, one earned run, one walk, three strikeouts) and scored on Booker's drive to left-center field.
Sophomore Logan Scott replaced Anderson in the fifth inning and threw 2.2 innings with no hits, no runs, three walks and three strikeouts, and had a key strikeout of Cook with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth inning. Matt Flemer was able to get out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the eighth inning.
"It was one heck of a ballgame against Rice," said Cal coach David Esquer. "I am so proud of the way we were able to come out after the break (due to lightening). For us to be a regional finalist is something special."