No. 11 Cal Baseball Sweeps No. 5 Long Beach State With 4-3 Victory
March 30, 2008
BERKELEY, CALIF. - The No. 11-ranked California baseball team swept No. 5-ranked Long Beach State with a 4-3 victory in the third game of the series Sunday at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears were led by a solid outing from senior right-hander Alex Rollin, the hitting of junior first baseman David Cooper and the relief pitching of junior right-hander Matt Gorgen, as Cal held off the 49ers' comeback attempt. The Bears improved to 18-5-1 overall and Long Beach State, which lost its first series of the season, fell to 17-7. Cal had won the first two games of the series, 6-1 on Friday, and 10-6 on Saturday.
Rollin improved his record to 3-0 on the season by throwing 5.0 innings with six hits, one run, two walks and two strikeouts. Cal utilized four relief pitchers after taking out Rollin after the fifth inning - sophomore left-hander Todd Fitzgerald (1.1 innings), sophomore right-hander Daniel Wolford (0.2 inning, one hit, one strikeout), sophomore right-hander/right fielder Blake Smith (0.2 inning, two hits, two runs, one strikeout) and finally Gorgen. Gorgen got the final out in the top of the eighth inning before getting the 49ers out in order in top of the ninth with two strikeouts to earn his fourth save of the season. Gorgen now has 15 career saves, tying him with Drew Fischer (1994-97) for fifth on the Cal all-time save list.
On the offensive end, the Bears scored two runs in the third inning off of Long Beach State freshman right-hander Jake Thompson (1-2, 6.1 innings, seven hits, two runs, two walks, six strikeouts). Sophomore catcher Dylan Tonneson led-off the inning with a walk, sophomore designated hitter Rich Gorman had a one-out single, and then Tonneson and Gorman ended up scoring on back-to-back singles by junior left fielder Charlie Cutler and Cooper.
The 49ers got with 2-1 with a run in the fourth inning on an RBI single by senior catcher Travis Howell. Cal jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh when Cutler was hit by a pitch with one-out, Cooper hit a double down the left field line and sophomore center fielder Brett Jackson's sacrifice fly to left field was dropped by Long Beach State left fielder TJ Mittelstaedt, allowing Cutler and Cooper to score.
The 49ers were not done battling, however, as they scored twice in the top of the eighth to get within 4-3. With two outs, Danny Espinosa and John Hill had back-to-back singles off of Smith, and then scored on Brandon Godfrey's two-run double off of Gorgen. But, Gorgen was able to shutdown Long Beach State in the top of the ninth to secure the Bears' win.
Cooper finished the game 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI, and Cutler was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Cal's standout senior second baseman, Josh Satin (0-for-3), saw his school-record hitting streak come to an end after hitting safely in 27 consecutive games, carrying over from last season. Satin is still hitting .446 on the year with five doubles, nine home runs and 30 RBI.
'I am very proud on my team,' said Cal coach David Esquer. 'Long Beach State will win a lot of games this season. They are a World Series type squad and the type of team we are going to have to beat in the playoffs. Long Beach State is physically and mentally tough. We know we still have a lot of stuff to work on because our league is so tough. There are no weekends off in the Pac-10.'
The Bears will next play the University of San Francisco on Tuesday, Apr. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at AT&T Park (home of the San Francisco Giants) as part of the Dante Benedetti Classic. Cal then hosts Fresno State on Wednesday, Apr. 2 at 2:30 p.m. at Evans Diamond. The Bears then continue their busy week when they host two-time defending NCAA champions Oregon State in a three-game Pac-10 series at Evans Diamond, beginning on Friday, Apr. 4 at 2:30 p.m.
Long Beach State: None.