Cal Baseball Wins Series with 6-2 Victory Over Rhode Island

March 18, 2007

BERKELEY, CALIF. - Led by the hitting of sophomore first baseman David Cooper and the pitching of junior right-hander Alex Rollin, the California baseball team defeated Rhode Island, 6-2, Sunday at Evans Diamond. With the win, the Golden Bears evened their record to 12-12, and captured the series with the Rams (2-11). Cal had won Friday's game, 7-6 in 11 innings; and lost Saturday's contest, 8-7.

Rollin improved his record to 5-1, throwing a career-high 6.2 innings with eight hits, two runs, one walk and a career-high five strikeouts. Cooper, who is hitting .380 on the year with a team-high seven home runs and 31 RBI, was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the first inning, and finished with three RBI. Sophomore catcher Charlie Cutler (2-for-3, double, two RBI) and freshman right fielder Blake Smith (2-for-3, double) also had a pair of hits for the Bears.

Cooper got the Bears on the board first, hitting a two-run homer to right-center field in the bottom of the first inning off of Rhode Island starter Brett Palanski (0-4, 7.0 innings, eight hits, six runs, one walk, four strikeouts). Cal added two more runs in the second when sophomore left fielder Ryan Hanlon and Smith led off the inning with back-to-back doubles. Senior shortstop Brett Munster then plated Hanlon with a sacrifice bunt, and Cutler scored Smith with a single up the middle.

Rhode Island notched a run in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly to right field by Scott Brown. The Bears countered with a run in the fourth on an RBI double by Cutler, scoring Munster after the senior shortstop had pounded out a one-out double. The Rams got their second run off of Rollin in the fifth inning when Brown had an RBI ground out to second base. Cal added an insurance run in the eighth inning when freshman center fielder Jeff Kobernus led-off with a walk, stole second, and scored on Cooper's RBI single.

The Bears' relievers, sophomore left-hander Craig Bennigson (1.1 innings, no hits, no runs, one walk, three strikeouts) and sophomore right-hander Matt Gorgen (1.0 inning, one hit, no runs, no walks, one strikeout), did well after replacing Rollin in the seventh inning.

Cal will next host Oral Roberts in a three-game series, beginning Thursday, Mar. 22 at 2 p.m. at Evans Diamond.

Home Runs:

Rhode Island: None.

Cal: Cooper, two-run homer in the first inning.

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