February 17, 2012

Baseball Falls In Season Opener At Cal

Berkeley, Calif. - Junior 3B Dustin Torchio went three-for-four with an RBI, but No. 22 Cal posted four sacrifice flies in a 9-1 opening day win over the Pacific baseball team Friday at Evans Diamond.

Senior RF Allen Riley added a double in three trips while sophomore 2B Curtis Gomez and freshman Tyler Sullivan each picked up a hit in three at bats.

The Golden Bears used small ball early, with three stolen bases and a sac but with the four sacrifice flies before finishing with 11 hits in the contest.

Cal tallied a run in the first on a sac fly from Andrew Knapp following a walk and a double by Chadd Krist. In the third, the Golden Bears pushed across another run with a sac fly off the bat of Krist, bringing home Tony Renda, who walked, was bunted over and stole third.

Junior LHP Travis Lumby (0-1) departed from his first Division I start after four, allowing two earned on three hits.

In the fifth, the Tigers cut the lead in half, as Gomez singled up the middle and moved to second on Sullivan's first collegiate hit, a single to left. With two away, Torchio lined a single into left field to plate Gomez and pull within 2-1. But Cal starter LHP Justin Jones recorded a strikeout to end the inning and maintain the Bears' lead.

Junior LHP Paul Moeller posted a zero in the bottom of the fifth, and the Tigers put the tying run on second with a one-out double to right by Riley. But Pacific couldn't bring him around and Cal tallied three runs in the bottom of the sixth to seize control.

Knapp opened the inning with a leadoff single off Chris Larsen, and Chad Bunting followed with a double over third, pulling back after showing bunt and slicing it passed the drawn in infield. On a grounder to short from Mitch Delfino, the Tigers tried for the out at third base, but the throw skipped towards the Pacific dugout as the Bears took a 4-1 lead. Darrel Matthews followed with a line out to right for another sacrifice fly and a 5-1 lead after six.

In the seventh, Cal tacked on another as Renda, the 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year, doubled and advanced to third on a groundout. Krist then greeted RHP Jared Wagner with a fly ball to right for another sac fly.

Torchio singled to right as the 2011 Big West batting champion turned in a three-hit day, but Keaton Siomkin coaxed a double-play ball to clear the bases.

The Golden Bears burst it open in the eighth, as Bunting doubled to left and Delfino singled up the middle. Matthews followed with a single through the right side and after a walk to Renda loaded the bases. Pinch-hitter Jacob Wark poked a seeing-eye single up the middle to plate two and give Cal the 9-1 advantage.

RHP Ryan Sandler retired the Tigers in the ninth to close out the game.

Jones (1-0) earned the win for Cal, allowing four hits and one run in five innings while striking out six. RHP Joey Donofrio struck out three in two innings of relief for Cal.

The series moves to Stockton on Saturday for Pacific's opening day at Klein Family Field, with first pitching coming at 1 p.m. Freshman RHP Mike Hager, a 6-5 product of Stockton's St. Mary's High School, will draw the starting assignment. The Golden Bears will counter with senior RHP Matt Flemer (4-2, 1.83 ERA in 2011). Game three of the series will be back in Berkeley on Sunday at 1 p.m.