Grossman leads Cal to 8-7, 12-inning win Over UC Irvine
March 14, 2003
BERKELEY, CA - In a remarkable individual performance, junior catcher Chris Grossman hit two home runs and knocked in the game-winning RBI in the 12th inning to lead Cal to a 8-7 victory over UC Irvine Friday at Evans Diamond. The Bears improved to 12-8 overall, while the Anteaters fell to 8-13. The win also gave Cal coach David Esquer his 100th career victory (100-88) in his fourth season with the Bears.
Grossman finished the day 4-for-6 with a double, two home runs and four RBI. He had a solo home run in the seventh inning to give Cal a 5-4 lead. Then in the bottom of the ninth with the game getting dark due to the weather and the Bears down 7-5, Grossman got behind 0-2 to Anteater reliever Paul French (0-1, 3.7 innings, two hits, two earned runs, one walk, two strikeouts) before fouling off nine consecutive pitches. On the 15th pitch by French in Grossman's at-bat, Grossman hit a two-run homer over the left field fence to send the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the 12th, junior first baseman Conor Jackson reached base on an error by UC Irvine shortstop B.J. Eucce, advancing to second. Grossman followed with the game-winning drive to right center field off of French. Jackson joined Grossman as Cal's hitting star, going 2-for-4 with three RBI, including a two-run homer in the first inning and walking with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to set up Grossman's two-run homer.
The winning pitcher for the Bears was sophomore right-hander Mike Padget, who pitched the final 3.2 innings with three hits, no runs, no walks and two strikeouts to improve his record to 2-1.
Cal had scored three runs in the first inning, only to see the Anteaters comeback with four runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by Jon Horwitz's two-run double. After Grossman's HR gave the Bears a 5-4 lead, pinch-hitter Matt Falk, on the first pitch by Cal reliever Jesse Ingram, gave UC Irvine a 6-5 lead with a two-run homer. The Anteaters added another run in the top of the ninth on an Ingram wild pitch, but Grossman's heroics in the bottom of the ninth kept the Bears alive.
The Bears will next play the second game of the three-game series versus UC Irvine, Saturday, Mar. 15 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond.
UC Irvine: Falk, two-run homer in the eighth inning.
Cal: C. Jackson, two-run homer in the first inning. Grossman, solo home run in the seventh inning. Grossman, two-run homer in the ninth inning.