At this point, it's no surprise that Cal baseball fell behind 1-0 early to Texas A&M off an Adam Smith solo shot. It's even less of a surprise that Cal instantly rallied back the next half inning, racking up four runs to take the lead for good. The Bears aren't the comeback kids for nothing, and they once again showed that being down and only outs away from elimination (this was no Baylor situation, but still) hardly fazes them at all.
It started in the top of the fifth with a Smith throwing error that allowed Chad Bunting to advance to second. Darrel Matthews singled to left center to put runners at the corners, and then Derek Campbell helped bring them home thanks to another unforced Aggie error, as the center fielder let the ball bounce by him, letting both Bunting and Matthews reach home to make it 2-1 Bears. Austin Booker grounded out to advance Campbell, and Tony Renda sacrificed to help Campbell get home to make it 3-1 Cal.
Cal kept it going in the top of the sixth. Marcus Semien singled to left on a 2-2 pitch to start the inning, and then Mitch Delfino doubled to get Semien to score. Bunting's single made it 5-1 Cal, and after a Matthews ground out advanced Bunting to second, Campbell's second big single brought another run across and made it 6-1. A&M would pick up two runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a throwing error that foiled a double play (the Aggies got a run off that error, and scored again later on in the inning). Cal got insurance in the 7th when Tony Renda singled, advanced to second and third on consecutive outs, and then Devon Rodriguez brought him home to complete the scoring.
Left-hander pitcher Kyle Porter had a solid outing in earning the win, going six innings and giving up three runs and seven hits while striking out four. Also impressive was relief pitcher Matt Flemer, who came in and earned an old-fashioned nine out, three inning save, allowing three hits and striking out five. Michael Wacha didn't perform poorly (only four earned runs in six and two-thirds innings pitched), but his fielding let him down and A&M is going home as a result.
Cal will face the loser of tonight's Virginia/South Carolina game on Thursday evening at 4 PM PT/7 PM ET on ESPN.
Check out the California Golden Blogs for more takes on Cal baseball. Check out I Am The 12th Man for Texas A&M perspective.