No. 16 Cal Baseball Tops No. 20 Arizona, 6-5, on Smith's Homer
May 3, 2008
BERKELEY, CALIF. - Sophomore right fielder Blake Smith hit a line drive home run down the right field line off of Arizona's Ryan Perry in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead the No. 16-ranked California baseball team to a 6-5 victory over the No. 20-ranked Wildcats Saturday afternoon at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears also got a strong relief effort from junior right-hander Matt Gorgen, who improved his record to 1-2 by throwing the final 1.2 innings and allowing only one hit. Cal improves to 29-14-2 overall and 9-8 in the Pac-10. The Wildcats drop to 30-15 and 7-10 in conference play. The Bears had won Friday's game, 11-5, to lead the series 2-0.
Perry (4-3) was the losing pitcher for Arizona after throwing a solid 3.2 innings (three hits, one run, two strikeouts) and allowing the Wildcats to make a comeback. Cal had held a 5-1 lead entering the fifth inning, but Arizona scored three runs in the fifth on Brad Glen's two-run single and Dillon Baird's fielder's choice RBI, and a run in the seventh on Glenn's second home run of the day to tie the contest, 5-5.
But the Bears were able to guarantee themselves a series victory when Smith led-off the bottom of the eighth with a hard-hit line drive that barely cleared the right field fence and barely stayed fair. Gorgen had relieved freshman right-hander Kevin Miller (3.1 innings, three hits, two runs, three walks, five strikeouts) in the eighth inning and was able to get out of a bases loaded jam before yielding one hit in the top of ninth before getting the final two outs.
Cal had jumped out to its early lead by scoring a run in the first on sophomore center fielder Brett Jackson's RBI single to center, and three runs in the third inning on a fielding error by Wildcat right fielder Jon Gaston and a two-run single by sophomore third baseman Jeff Kobernus off of UA starter David Coulon (3.1 innings, seven hits, five runs, four earned runs, four walks, two strikeouts). Arizona got its first run in the top of the fourth inning on Glenn's first home run of the day, a lead-off homer off of Bear starter Craig Bennigson (4.0 innings, four hits, three runs, three walks, three strikeouts). Cal then put itself ahead 5-1 on junior first baseman David Cooper's RBI single in the fourth inning, scoring junior left fielder Charlie Cutler who had led-off the inning with a double.
Cutler, Jackson, Smith and Kobernus all finished the day with two hits apiece. Smith hit his ninth home run of the year after also hitting a roundtripper in Friday's game. Glenn was 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI for the Wildcats.
The Bears will next face Arizona in the final game of the three-game Pac-10 series, Sunday, May 4 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond.
Arizona: Glenn, solo home run in the fourth inning. Glenn, solo home run in the seventh inning.
Cal: Smith, solo home run in the eighth inning.