Cal Baseball Falls to UC Irvine, 4-3, in Season Opener

Feb. 2, 2007

BERKELEY, CALIF. - Plagued by a couple of fielding errors in the eighth inning, the California baseball team fell to UC Irvine, 4-3, in its 2007 season-opener Friday afternoon at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears had owned a 3-1 lead after scoring a run in the second inning on a solo home run by sophomore catcher Charlie Cutler (first collegiate homer), and two runs in the fifth inning on a two-run homer by junior second baseman Josh Satin off of UCI starting pitcher Scott Gorgen (5.0 innings, six hits, three runs, two walks, three strikeouts).

But the Anteaters were able to scratch out the win. Cody Cipriano had tied the game 1-1 with a lead-off home run in the fourth inning off of Cal starter Tyson Ross. In the seventh, UC Irvine got within 3-2 on an RBI double by Ollie Linton down the left field line.

The Anteaters then took the lead for good in the eighth inning. After Ross gave up a lead-off single to Cipriano in the eighth, the Bears replaced Ross with sophomore left-hander Craig Bennigson (0-1, 1.0 inning, no hits, one unearned run, one walk), but sophomore third baseman Michael Brady threw wide to first on Matthew Morris' sacrifice bunt. After Bennigson was able to get two outs on Bryan Petersen's sacrifice bunt and Jeffrey Cusick's RBI groundout to second base, he walked Tyler Vaughn before yielding a chopper by Aaron Lowenstein that got away from Bear first baseman David Cooper, allowing Morris to score what turned out to be the winning run.

The winning pitcher for the Anteaters was junior right-hander reliever Wes Etheridge (1-0), who came in in the sixth and threw 2.7 innings with two hits and one strikeout. Senior closer Blair Erickson got his first save of the year, throwing the ninth inning with no hits and two strikeouts. Bennigson suffered the loss for Cal, despite no giving up an earned run. Ross was impressive in his first start of 2007 (7.0 innings, nine hits, two earned runs, one walk, six strikeouts).

Besides Cutler and Satin's home runs, freshman designated hitter Jeff Kobernus had a pair of hits (2-for-4) in his first collegiate game.

Cal next plays the second game of the three-game series versus UC Irvine, Saturday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond.

Home Runs:

UCI: Cipriano, solo home run in the fourth inning.

Cal: Cutler, solo home run in the second inning. Satin, two-run homer in the fifth inning.

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