Cal Baseball Topped by Virginia Commonwealth, 9-7, in NCAA Regional
May 25, 2001
BATON ROUGE, LA - In a back and forth game, No. 3 seeded Cal fell to No. 2 seeded Virginia Commonwealth, 9-7, in the opening day of the NCAA Regional at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA. The Bears go to 33-24 overall and the Rams, from the Colonial Athletic Association, improve to 39-17.
Cal will now face Minnesota (39-20) at 11 a.m. CDT, Saturday, May 26. If the Bears defeat the Golden Gophers, they would play the loser of the LSU-VCU game at 7:30 p.m. CDT Saturday. LSU, the defending national champions, defeated Minnesota, 10-9, in the first game of the Baton Rouge NCAA Regional.
Cal had its chances, but left 13 runners on base, were out-hit by the Rams, 16-13, and did not play stellar defense. The Bears did receive a gutsy performance from starting pitcher Trevor Hutchinson (6-7), despite giving up 14 hits (7.0 innings, eight runs, six earned runs, two walks, eight strikeouts). Cal also got three hits apiece from freshman left fielder Brian Horwitz (3-for-5, two doubles, RBI) and sophomore center fielder Ben Conley (3-for-6, RBI), plus two hits apiece from John Baker and Carson White. Freshman Spencer Wyman hit a towering home run to right field in the top of the ninth to get the Bears within 9-7.
Virginia Commonwealth struck first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first on a two-run homer by Cory Bauswell. Cal answered with a run in the top of the second on an RBI chopper by Horwitz. The Rams scored an unearned run in the third and another run in the fifth, but the Bears took a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth on a two-run single by freshman shortstop Jeff Dragicevich, an RBI single by Conley and a sacrifice fly by senior Rob Meyer.
Unfortunately, that was not enough as VCU came back with three runs in the bottom of the sixth on five straight hits with two outs. The Rams added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Cal was able to muster a run in the eighth on a fielder's choice RBI by Meyer and then the home run in the ninth by Wyman off of winning pitcher Bo Acors (9-2, 3.7 innings, five hits, two runs, one walk, three strikeouts).
Six of VCU's nine runs came with two outs in the inning. Joshua Arteaga went 5-for-5 with an RBI to pace the Rams. Cal now has a 31-16 all-time record in postseason play.
Cal: Wyman, solo home run in the ninth inning.
Virginia Commonwealth: Bauswell, two-run homer in the first inning.