Bears Trounce Toreros to Tip Off Weekend

Photo: Marcus Semien gave Cal a 5-0 lead in the second inning with a grand slam. It was his lone hit against San Diego in three at-bats.
David Herschorn/File
Marcus Semien gave Cal a 5-0 lead in the second inning with a grand slam. It was his lone hit against San Diego in three at-bats.


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The Cal baseball team began the University of San Diego Tournament yesterday, its bats still warm from a 29-run explosion last weekend. Just two innings in, Marcus Semien made sure they started burning.

Facing two outs and loaded bases against host San Diego in the second, the shortstop sent a pitch sailing over the left field fence. His first career grand slam - the No. 14 Bears' second of the season - kicked the lead up to 5-0 in the eventual 6-2 win at Cunningham Stadium.

The home run was also Semien's first of the spring, nearly doubling his RBI from five to nine on the season. After batting .328 a year ago, the junior had been slow out of the gate, hitting just .217 through six games.

"He made a good sacrifice bunt down in the first inning," coach David Esquer said. "When you start doing things positive offensively, it can relax you a little bit. You don't feel like you have to do so much to help the team."

Despite the outpour, Semien's roundtripper was only Cal's second hit of the inning. Catcher Chadd Krist was the first man on base for the Bears after being hit by a pitch. Two walks and a single put the team on the scoreboard and set up Semien's at-bat.

On the mound, junior Dixon Anderson limited the Toreros to six runs in his six innings of action. The righty notched just one strikeout, but forced numerous groundouts against the home team.

"He didn't have his best stuff," Esquer said. "I thought he did a good job of just battling his way through six innings."

The Toreros did manage to inch back into the game, plating a runner in both the fifth and sixth innings. Junior Zach Sullivan, a .545 hitter and a Fresno City College transfer, struck a double along the left field line; he scored his team's first run on a fielder's choice.

A double by San Diego junior catcher Zach Kometani the next inning to cap his team's scoring for the day. Meanwhile, the Bears went dry.

"We just didn't get a big hit," Esquer said. "We had plenty of runners in scoring position ... We just couldn't get the hit to put them away."

In the top of the seventh, Cal put itself in scoring position again after leaving four on base through the preceding three innings. This time, Krist doubled into left field to score second baseman Tony Renda.

The Bears' relievers made sure the four-run lead didn't shrink. Freshman Kyle Porter had four strikeouts in the seventh and eighth innings. Matt Flemer closed without allowing a hit.

Cal faces San Diego State tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Tags: CAL BASEBALL, DAVID ESQUER, MARCUS SEMIEN, DIXON ANDERSON, TONY RENDA


Jack Wang covers baseball. Contact him at [email protected]



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