BERKELEY – Cal baseball made Senior Day a success, scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to erase a 4-2 deficit, and then hanging on to capture a 6-5 win over UCLA Sunday (May 20) at Evans Diamond. Golden Bear (27-24, 10-17) seniors played a huge part in the victory with catcher Chadd Krist going 2-for-4 with a home run, and right-hander Joey Donofrio earning the win in relief (2.0 innings, three hits, one unearned run, two strikeouts) to improve to 6-1 on the year. Senior right fielder Chad Bunting had an RBI single in the eighth inning as well.
In Cal’s four-run eighth inning, sophomore second baseman Derek Campbell knocked in the game-leading RBI single, and junior designated hitter Vince Bruno gave the Bears a much-needed cushion with a two-out RBI single to put the Bears up, 6-4, going into the top of the ninth. UCLA (38-14, 17-10) saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end when Donofrio was able to strikeout pinch hitter Eric Filia-Snyder with the tying run on third base to end the game.
Cal had fallen, 7-2 and 8-5, in the first two games of the series.
“This was definitely a nice win for our seniors,” said Cal coach David Esquer. “The team was inspired and it showed with some big hits off one of the league’s best closers (Scott Griggs). I am extremely proud of all that our senior class has accomplished.”
UCLA scored a run in the top of the first inning on Jeff Gelalich’s RBI single off of Cal sophomore left-hander Michael Theofanopoulos (3.0 innings, three hits, one run, three walks, one strikeout). The Bears came back with a run in the bottom of the first inning on Krist’s RBI single off of UCLA starter Zack Weiss (6.0 innings, nine hits, one earned run, one walk, three strikeouts).
Both teams scored single runs in the fourth inning. Logan Scott hit UCLA’s Kevin Williams with the bases loaded to allow a run, but Krist tied the contest, 2-2, with a lead-off homer to left center field in the bottom of the fourth.
UCLA took a 4-2 advantage in the fifth inning on Cody Regis’ two-run double off of Scott.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Krist got things going for the Bears when he reached base on UCLA third baseman Kevin Kramer’s throwing error. Sophomore first baseman Andrew Knapp followed with an RBI double to right center field. Later in the inning Bunting knocked in an RBI single to left center field, Campbell had an RBI single to left field and Bruno gave Cal an all important sixth run with a two-out RBI single to center field.
In the top of the ninth, Gelalich had a two-out RBI single to right field off of Donofrio. Trevor Brown then put Gelalich on third base with a single to left center field, before Donofrio was able to strikeout pinch hitter Filia-Snyder to end the game.
Bruno was Cal’s top hitter, going 3-for-4 with an RBI; while Oh, Krist and Campbell had two hits apiece to lead the Bears’ 14-hit attack.
Cal will next face Bay Area rival Stanford in a three-game Pac-12 series, May 25-27 at Sunken Diamond. KNEW 960 AM, part of the IMG Sports Network, and Cal’s student radio, KALX 90.7 FM, will be broadcasting the Stanford series with game times at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 25 and 1 p.m. May 26 and 27.