Cal Baseball Defeats and Ties Utah Valley in Doubleheader Action

Feb. 23, 2008

BERKELEY, CALIF. - In a cold and blustery day, the University of California defeated Utah Valley, 12-1, in the first game of a doubleheader, and then tied the Wolverines, 8-8, in a game called due to darkness after nine innings Saturday at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears improved to 2-0-1 on the season, while Utah Valley went to 0-3-1. On the day, Cal had an impressive six home runs, including junior David Cooper going a combined 3-for-6 with three home runs (including a grand slam) with nine RBI.

In game one, Cal was led by the hitting of Cooper and sophomore center fielder Brett Jackson, and the pitching of junior left-hander Craig Bennigson and freshman right-hander Kevin Miller. Cooper and Jackson got the Bears on the scoreboard first by hitting solo home runs in the second inning. Cal added another two runs in the fourth inning on Jackson's RBI triple and junior left fielder Michael Capbarat's sacrifice fly to left that scored Jackson.

The Bears then exploded for eight runs in the seventh inning, highlighted by an RBI double by sophomore designated hitter Rich Gorman, Cooper's grad slam, a solo home run by senior second baseman Josh Satin and another triple by Jackson.

On the mound, Bennigson picked up his first win of the year, throwing 7.0 innings with four hits, one run, one walk and six strikeouts. Freshman Miller was impressive in his 2.0 innings, giving up no hits, no runs, with no walks and three strikeouts. The losing pitcher for the Wolverines was starter Dan Christensen (0-1, 6.1 innings, five hits, eight runs, seven earned runs, two walks, seven strikeouts.

In the nightcap, Cal was able to comeback from a 6-1 deficit. The Bears had scored in the bottom of the first on Cooper's sacrifice fly, scoring Gorman, who had led-off the inning with an infield double that dropped due to the windy conditions. Utah Valley came back to score six runs in the third inning, going through 11 batters with five hits in the inning against Cal starter Alex Rollin.

The Bears were then able to chip away at the Wolverine's lead, scoring a run in the fourth when sophomore right fielder Blake Smith tripled and scored on junior left fielder Ryan Hanlon's sacrifice fly. Cal continued its comeback by notching three runs in the seventh on Cooper's three-run homer, and three runs in the eighth on Satin's three-run homer that propelled the Bears to an 8-7 lead. Unfortunately, Utah Valley's AJ Palmer had an RBI walk with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth off of Cal's junior reliever Matt Gorgen. Sophomore left-hander Todd Fitzgerald, a transfer from San Jose City College, was instrumental in the Bear's comeback, relieving Rollin and pitching 4.2 innings with four hits, one run, two walks and four strikeouts.

The Bears will next attempt to host Kansas State, weather permitting, in a single game beginning at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Evans Diamond. Cal had defeated the Wildcats, 5-1, on Friday at Evans Diamond.

Home Runs Game One:

Utah Valley: None.

Cal: Cooper, solo home run in the second inning. Jackson, solo home run in the second inning. Cooper, grand slam in the seventh inning. Satin, solo home run in the seventh inning.

Home Runs Game Two:

Utah Valley: None.

Cal: Cooper, three run homer in the seventh inning. Satin, three run homer in the eighth inning.

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