Matusz outduels Ross as San
Diego stops California
By Abbey Mastracco
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Zeros were strewn across the Blair Field
scoreboard until the bottom of the sixth when California’s Tyson
Ross dropped a pitcher’s duel to San Diego’s Brian Matusz, as
Josh Romanski crossed the plate, scoring the first run and
decisive run in the No. 2-seeded Torero’s 5-0 route over No.
costly walk by Ross put Romanksi on, who scored on a two-out
double straight up the center by Sean Nichol, Friday night in
front of 1,365 at Blair Field. Matusz (12-2) tossed his third
complete-game shutout of the season. The right-hander blanked
10, and now stands at No. 1 on San Diego’s all-time strikeout
list with 296, overtaking Gary Myron. With 141 on the season,
Matusz also now stands at No. 1 in the country.
“It was one of those outings where you’ve got to tip your hat to
him,” said Cal head coach David Esquer.
can’t say enough about Brian Matusz,” said San Diego head coach
Rich Hill. “The guy pitches in front of general managers and
owners of baseball teams, and he’s locked in. He has a huge
ability to detach from any consequence of what’s going on around
him and deal.”
Matusz was nearly unhittable throughout his entire outing. The
right-hander worked a mix of breaking balls and a cut-fastball
to scatter just three hits and only one that went for extra
“It’s like he works backwards,” said Blake Smith, the Golden
Bears’ right fielder. “As a hitter, you’re standing in the box
wondering ‘What is this guy going to throw next?’ He throws a
lot of strikes, and he throws four quality pitches for strikes.”
Former Team USA teammates Ross and Matusz found themselves
entrenched in a fierce duel right from the get-go. Matusz’s
balls blew past hitter after hitter as he tallied six strikeouts
within the first four innings, and Ross’s sidearm breaking balls
went nowhere but up — straight up.
“Cal’s a very tough team, I knew that coming in today,” Matusz
said. “Things were working well, I had all four pitches working
for me today. I knew that if I just kept working at the knees
everything would be fine.”
Ross (7-4) failed to hold on and fell apart in the seventh
inning, giving up four runs (one earned) on five hits.
Logan Gelbrich hit a ball back to the left field warning track
that popped out of Charlie Cutlers glove for a two-base error to
lead off. Gelbrich was then advanced on a sacrifice bunt, Ross
gave up back-to-back doubles to Jose Valerio and Nick McCoy to
take a 3-0 lead over the Golden Bears. The Toreros kept the
inning alive with a two-out rally, taking three straight singles
off Ross, and walking in a run, as Kevin Hansen was hit by a
pitch with the bases loaded.
Sean Nichol led the Toreros offensively going 3 for 4 with an
RBI, followed by Romanksi, who finished 2 for 3 with two runs
and an RBI.
Although Hansen went 0-for-3 with a hit by a pitch, the second
baseman managed to steal the show with stellar defense. Hansen
saved the shutout in the sixth by gunning down to home with one
out, and robbing at least three Golden Bear hitters of base
hits, once by making a fantastic high jump to grab a Brett
Jackson blooper in midair.
have no idea if I’ve ever jumped that high before,” Hansen said.
“I jumped a little early so I was a little worried about it
until I felt the ball go in the back of my glove. I clutched it
and knew I stayed in the air long enough.”
The Toreros will advance to the winner’s bracket and play the
winner of tonight’s match up between Long Beach State and Fresno
State. This is the first time in school history San Diego has
played in the winner’s match on a Saturday. San Diego will play
at 6 p.m., while Cal will play the loser of the second game at 2