June 5, 2011
HOUSTON, TEXAS -The California baseball team, led by the outstanding pitching of freshman left-hander Kyle Porter and a two home run game from junior right fielder Chad Bunting, shut out Baylor, 8-0, in the NCAA Houston Regional in a second game Sunday, June 5. The victory over Baylor was after overcoming a two hour and 43 minute lightening delay in a 6-3 victory over No. 9-ranked Rice earlier Sunday at Rice's Reckling Park.
With the two wins, Cal improves to 34-21 overall, and plays No. 2-seed Baylor (31-27) at 6 p.m. CT (4 p.m. PT) Monday, June 6 to see which school advances to an NCAA Super Regional.
Freshman Porter was stellar, no giving up a hit until the fifth inning, throwing a career-high 6.2 innings with a career-high nine strikeouts to improve to 5-0 season in only his third collegiate start. Bunting, who was out from March 13 through May 7 with a badly sprained thumb, broke a 0-0 tie with a solo home run in the sixth inning off of Baylor starter Brooks Pinckard (5-3, 6.0 innings, six hits, one run, one walk, two strikeouts).
Senior right-hander Kevin Miller got a key strikeout with a Baylor runner on third base in the fifth inning, and sophomore left-hander Justin Jones earned a save by pitching the final two innings (2.0 innings, one hit, two strikeouts).
Cal was able to put the game away by exploding for seven runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by an RBI single from sophomore first baseman Devon Rodriguez, a three-run homer by Bunting, an RBI single by sophomore second baseman Tony Renda and a two-run double by junior catcher Chadd Krist. Krist's double was his Pac-10 leading 25 th of the season, tying him for second on the Bears' single-season list with former San Francisco Giant great Jeff Kent.
Bunting, who started his Cal career as a bullpen catcher, finished the Baylor game 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBI.
"Every so often you get into a playoff atmosphere and you get a performance out of somebody that could just mark their careers for the rest of time and I think that's one of those performances that Kyle Porter had for us," said Cal coach David Esquer. "We didn't know how much we were going to get from Kyle this whole weekend. He hasn't felt great, and he told us he was good enough to start the game and his performance was just outstanding. The performance of the tournament for us. We're going to ride that one a long way and obviously with Chad's (Bunting) bat giving us a key home run."