Bears drop weekend series in Corvallis
Monday, May 9, 2011
Category: Sports > Spring > Baseball
Sundays haven't been kind to Cal's starting pitchers lately.
A week ago, Oregon shelled Dixon Anderson for six hits in less than two innings. It took six frames of shutout ball by senior Kevin Miller for the Bears to overcome a 4-0 deficit for its fifth walk-off win of the year.
Yesterday, it was Miller who first took the mound for Cal in its rubber match against No. 3 Oregon State - and it was Miller who got the quick hook after surrendering three hits and three runs in two innings of work.
This time, the No. 21 Bears couldn't connect often enough to balance out a one-run long relief effort by freshman Kyle Porter, dropping a 4-2 loss to the Beavers in Corvallis, Ore.
Second baseman Tony Renda opened the game with some uncharacteristic pop, knocking a solo shot over the left field fence at Goss Stadium to give Cal (28-16, 12-9 in the Pac-10) an early lead. It was the sophomore's second homer of the series and third of the season.
It was also the only earned run OSU's Ben Wetzler gave up all day in his seven-inning start; the freshman struck out seven and didn't walk a single batter.
Given the Beavers' (34-11, 14-4) spot at the top of the Pac-10, the Bears were perhaps lucky to get out of the weekend with at least one 'W'.
Cal junior Erik Johnson took a no-hitter six innings deep in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, but opened the second frame by hitting the leadoff batter, walking the next, and giving up a sac bunt and sac fly for Cal, which never led in the 3-0 loss.
Beavers starter Josh Osich, who notched the his program's first complete-game no-hitter since 1947 a week ago, took the mound the next game; the Bears pounded him for six hits in six innings in their 6-2 victory. Osich was battered for three RBI in the fifth, including a two-run homer by Renda, and threw two of his four wild pitches in the top of the sixth to hand Cal a 4-0 lead.
It appears that Renda is finding quite a home at the top of the order for the Bears. After Renda spent most of the season batting in the three-hole, coach David Esquer moved him up while every day leadoff man Vince Bruno worked through a slump. It's worked so well that Renda hasn't moved back.
There was another new lineup change on deck for Cal this weekend. After two months on the bench, right fielder Chad Bunting returned from thumb surgery to bat and play outfield in Corvallis. Esquer expected him to return next week at the earliest, so Bunting's appearance was a pleasant boost for the Bears down the stretch.
A fresh pair of legs and arms could be crucial as Cal plays its final few weeks of the regular season. They've now played 44 games but, with final exams taking place this week, they'll get the week off to focus on school.
The Bears take the field next at UC Davis on May 17 at 2:30 p.m.
A previous version of this article mistakenly identified the photographed player as Tony Renda. It was, in fact, Mitch Delfino. The Daily Californian regrets the error.
The Daily Californian regrets the error.
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