Baseball: Cal Tries to Rebound From Midweek Loss

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For the most part, games in the middle of the week have been very good to the Cal baseball team this season.

Sandwiched between Tuesday's 6-5 defeat by St. Mary's and a 10-6 loss to San Jose State Feb. 6, the Bears (22-16, 5-4 in Pac-10) had reeled off a stretch of five consecutive victories to compile a 5-2 overall record in mid-week games.

This weekend's series versus Arizona-which begins today at 2 p.m. at Evans Diamond-will be the first Cal will enter following a mid-week loss since it faced Gonzaga in a series early in February after its defeat to the Spartans.

Coach David Esquer is expecting his players to rebound from Tuesday's setback in a big way, especially after the Bears crumbled and let a two-run lead slip away in the bottom of the ninth.

"We have to respond well this weekend," Esquer said. "The year's right in front of us now and it's going to be a matter of us executing and playing good baseball."

Trevor Hutchinson (7-3) will shoot for his fourth win in five tries and look to get his team going today as he takes the mound for his 11th start of the season.

On Monday, the senior righthander was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after leading Cal to a 5-3 victory over UCLA last Friday.

In his eight and two-thirds innings of work against the Bruins, the Bears' ace gave up six hits, three runs, three walks and struck out six.

With 262 strikeouts in his career, Hutchinson is fast closing in on the school's all-time mark of 275, held by Doug Weiss.

First baseman Conor Jackson continues to pace the Bears offensively. So far, the sophomore is batting .404 with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs. Jackson currently paces the Pac-10 in average, total bases (108), hits (59) and on-base percentage.

The Wildcats (22-14, 3-6), led by first-year head coach Andy Lopez, are projected to start sophomore righthander Sean Rierson (5-2, 3.93 ERA) today.

In the team's most recent series, Arizona dropped two of three games to No. 2 Stanford but was able to finish the set with a bang.

In the third game of the series, the Wildcats rallied from an early 8-0 deficit to take a 15-13 victory from the Card.

Arizona's offense does not explode with spectacular numbers, but the team certainly boasts a feisty lineup that can beat you in many ways-as it showed in its outburst against Stanford-and is solid from top to bottom.

Shortstop Brad Hassey spearheads the Wildcats' attack. He leads the team in batting average (.329), RBIs (27), and stolen bases (10), and is tied for second on the team in runs scored (31).

The senior, who is the team's leadoff-hitter, has especially thrived in Pac-10 play. In Arizona's nine conference games this season, Hassey has recorded 18 hits to post a sizzling .467 average.


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