June 12, 2011
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The California Golden Bears (37-21) are heading to the College World Series for the first time since 1992 after sweeping Dallas Baptist (42-20) in the Santa Clara NCAA Super Regional. Led by the pitching of junior right-hander Erik Johnson and a key two-run homer by junior catcher Chadd Krist, the Bears closed out the series with a 6-2 victory over the Patriots Sunday (June 12) night at Stephan Schott Stadium in Santa Clara. Cal had shut out Dallas Baptist, 7-0, on Saturday.
Krist hit a two-run home run in the first inning, giving Cal the early lead and helping propel head coach David Esquer's squad to Omaha. The Bears never trailed as Johnson improved his record to 7-4 on the year by throwing 6.0 innings with three hits, two runs, four walks and four strikeouts.
After senior left fielder Austin Booker drew a walk off of Patriot starter Jared Stafford (8-5, 3.2 innings, six hits, five runs, four earned runs, two walks, three strikeouts) to start the bottom of the first inning, Krist proceeded to hit a one-out homer over the left field fence to give the Bears a 2-0 advantage.
Dallas Baptist responded with a run in the top of the second inning on Kenny Hatcher's RBI double off of Johnson, yet Cal quickly added a run in the bottom of the second inning when freshman second baseman Derek Campbell singled to center field and scored on Booker's double to right center field.
The Patriots came back with another run in the top of the third inning on Joel Hutter's RBI double to get within 3-2, but that was as close as Dallas Baptist would get. Cal plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when junior right fielder Chad Bunting led off with a double and scored on Campbell's RBI double to center field. Sophomore designated hitter Tony Renda later scored Campbell with an RBI single to right field.
The Bears scored their final run in the sixth inning on Krist's RBI single up the middle that scored Booker after Booker and Renda had produced back-to-back one-out singles.
Cal pitchers were again able to limit Dallas Baptist's potent offense as the Patriots were limited to four hits after only mustering three hits Saturday. After Johnson's six innings, senior right-hander Kevin Miller (one hit, two strikeouts), freshman left-hander Kyle Porter (one strikeout) and junior right-hander Matt Flemer (no hits) each threw an inning to wrap up the game.
Krist finished the game 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI, while Renda and Campbell had three hits apiece and Booker added a single and a double as the Bears recorded 13 hits, the sixth time in seven postseason games Cal had registered double-digit hits.
The Bears have now won six straight postseason games after falling to Baylor, 6-4, in the first game of the Houston Regional June 3. Cal went on to battle through the loser's bracket in Houston with a 10-6 victory over Alcorn State, a 6-3 win over Rice, a 8-0 shutout of Baylor and a 9-8 dramatic win over Baylor on sophomore first baseman Devon Rodriguez's two-out, two-strike, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning.