The California Golden Bears kept their regional hopes alive with a 6-3 victory over the Rice Owls. The Owls were serving as host of the Houston regional in the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament. The Bears were able to come back against the Owls and outlast a lengthy weather delay to secure a place in the regional finals with the Baylor Bears. Baylor defeated Cal 6-4 in the regional opener. Cal will now need to win two straight games against Baylor to advance to the super regional round.
Rice jumped on top of this game early, taking a 2-0 lead in the second inning on two unearned runs. Michael Ratterree singled to lead off the inning. Craig Manuel followed as he reached base on a bunt attempt that was fumbled by Cal starter Dixon Anderson. That was followed by another bunt attempt fumbled by Anderson that led to a pair of runs.
Cal used a pair of singles and a hit batsman to tie the game at 2, but Rice bounced right back with a Keenan Cook home run to take a 3-2 lead. Cal tied the game once again in the seventh inning as Darrel Matthews scored on an Austin Booker single. The teams moved into the bottom of the eighth inning when the lightning delay began.
The game was delayed for a little over an hour before play was resumed. Cal jumped all over Tyler Duffey, notching three runs on two singles and three errors, which typified just how ugly this game was at times. Matt Flemer was able to slam the door in the ninth and Cal earned the tough victory.
The Bears will face Baylor at approximately
6:35pm 7:15pm pacific due to the weather delay. Cal needs to win this first game to avoid elimination. If Cal wins this first game, the second elimination game is scheduled for 4:00pm pacific on Monday. The first game can be heard on KALX 90.7 FM.