Despite an initial decision last September to discontinue the Cal baseball program due to pressure on the University’s budget, the 2011 Bears enjoyed their best season in 31 years culminating in a fifth-place finish at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The Bears, under the direction of 2011 National Coach of the Year David Esquer, made school history when it finished 38-23 overall and advanced to NCAA postseason for the third time in the last four years.
Cal captured the Houston Regional with a thrilling, 9-8 victory over Baylor with four runs in the bottom of the ninth, highlighted by Devon Rodriguez’s game-winning two-run single. The Bears then swept through a best-of-three series with Dallas Baptist in the Super Regional, before two of the largest crowds in recent Bear baseball memory, to advance to the College World Series. In the CWS, the Bears dropped a close 4-1 decision to top-seeded Virginia before defeating Texas A&M, 7-3, for its first win in Omaha since 1980. The memorable season came to an end with an 8-1 loss to the Cavaliers June 23.