June 21, 2011
CBI Live: California 7, Texas A&M 3
Bears Live to Play Another Day
By Jimmy Jones
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
(photos by Jimmy Jones)
verge of elimination from the College World Series and with a
fresh-faced teenager on the mound, Cal showed some of the
tenacious resiliency that has become its trademark in its
come-from-behind win over Texas A&M on Tuesday afternoon at TD
bad for a team that was told by Athletic Director Sandy Barbour
just a scant 10 months ago that its sport would be cut from the
Cal program in 2012 due to budget constraints. This despite
fielding a young team that had reached the NCAA tournament the
team was left twisting in the wind for six months until an
announcement in April 2011 that the program had been saved with
nearly $10 million worth of donations from alumni, boosters and
the general public.
baseball has a long and storied history that dates back to
Golden Bears won the first College World Series in 1947 and won
another national title in 1957. Cal’s
impressive alumni list includes Jeff Kent, Brett Jackson, Jackie
Jensen, Brandon Morrow, Darren Lewis, Andy Messersmith, Xavier
Nady, Tyson Ross and Geoff Blum, among recent or current big
leaguers. The Bears have been to Regionals in two of the past
three seasons and will end 2011 ranked in the top eight teams in
did they turn to when they need a win to stay alive in the
biggest stage in college baseball?
David Esquer (pictured above) handed the ball to freshman Kyle
Porter, who at this time last year was fresh from his senior
prom at Oak Ridge High School in Eldorado Hills, Calif. Porter
ranked fifth for the Bears with 51 innings the season.
Porter did was pitch six strong innings against one of the best
teams in the country before handing it over to reliever Matt
Flemer, who closed the door with three innings of scoreless
once again the Bears survive to fight another day.
irony of it all is not lost on the Cal players as they continue
to be one of the more compelling stories in all of sports.
Sophomore Tony Renda (left) may have summed it up best moments
after the win.
we’ve been down all year,” Renda said. “We’ve had to fight back,
whether it’s getting our program back, our alumni fought for us
and we fought on the field every single game. Got off to a great
start and won a lot of ballgames. We were down as a program. We
were down in this tournament as well.
lose our first game. You’ve got to come back and win ballgames
against very good teams or else you’re going home. We know the
tasks and what we need to do. We know it’s going to be
difficult, but we’re going to take it day by day and throw our
best guys out there and keep turning over the lineup and try to
get some wins and get to that championship series to make it
named the College Baseball Coach of the Year by the National
Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Tuesday, will have to
play catch-up in lining up the next freshman class because the
recruiting budget was frozen until recently.
would appear that he has the opponent right where he wants it.