Bats Bury 'Cats With 51 Runs

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Things didn't seem to be on track for the Cal baseball team yesterday morning.

The Bears waited outside their hotel for an hour and a half for a bus that would take them to Sancet Field in Tucson, Ariz., for their final game against the Wildcats.

It turned out that the bus went to the wrong hotel. By the time Cal had arrived to the game, Arizona was already finished with its pregame batting practice.

So what did the Bears use to vent their frustration after the little mishap? Their bats, of course.

The Bears (10-14, 3-3 in the Pac-10) blew off their steam by racking up a whopping 25 hits in a 24-14 romp at Arizona Sunday afternoon to win the rubber match of the three-game series.

The Wildcats (16-15, 1-5) did edge out the Bears Friday in a 4-1 victory, but Cal came back with explosive numbers Saturday, shellacking Arizona, 26-6.

"We swung the bats really well," Bears coach David Esquer said. "We pulled ahead and kept it up. It gave our pitchers a cushion. Hopefully it will get contagious."

With junior Jason Williams on second base in the third inning, outfielder David Weiner delivered a hard line drive down right field for an RBI triple. After Williams scored, four more Bears players crossed the plate in the third, capped by catcher Mike Tonis' three-run blast to left field.

Cal put up two more runs in the following inning to go up, 7-0.

But trouble ensued in the top of the fourth when David Cash, pitching in relief of starter Kevin Johnson, began to have control problems. Cash walked three batters to load the bases before allowing the Wildcats' Troy Gingrich to get on base with an RBI single.

Six Arizona batters scored before Ernie Durazo hit a two-run home run to put the Wildcats ahead, 8-7.

Fortunately for Cash, Arizona's bullpen couldn't stop the Cal hitters.

The Wildcats' relievers gave up nine, two, and six runs in the fifth, eighth, and ninth innings, respectively.

Tonis hit his second homer of the game in the ninth, and junior Xavier Nady smashed a dinger in the fifth.

"We cashed in on opportunities with runners in scoring position," Esquer said. "We have to move forward from here."

Senior Jon Cuccias recorded the win with a little over two innings of work while Arizona's Tony Milo was tagged with the loss, after giving up 11 runs, four of them earned.

In Saturday's easy win, starting pitcher Brad Steele had a big cushion to work with early on - Cal scored 15 runs in the first three innings.

Nady belted a two-run homer in the third and Tonis knocked a three-run home run in the second in the Bears' massive outburst at the plate.

The run total was three short of the Bears' record on April 26, 1986, when they scored 29 against Arizona State.

"We've pitched very well and played good defense as of late," Esquer said. "We've done those two things consistently. Our immediate goal is to take care of ourselves to become a playoff contender."

Meanwhile, Friday's contest was a complete contrast to the ensuing two-game barrage. Cal's bats were silent while the Wildcats' pitching performance was dominant.

Arizona sophomore Ben Diggins went the distance for his third complete game of the season. Diggins struck out seven and allowed eight hits in improving his record to 6-0. By allowing only one run against Cal, Diggins lowered his ERA to 2.20.

Bears sophomore Trevor Hutchinson (2-3) took his third loss of the season after working four innings.


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