Pitching, defense lead struggling Bears over Dons

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The Cal baseball team entered Tuesday’s contest with San Francisco with 35 errors in the season.

That number didn’t change by the game’s end at Benedetti Diamond. For the first time in 11 games, coach David Esquer’s squad didn’t commit a single error, and it was rewarded with a 4-3 victory.

The Bears’ unyielding defense and a solid, six-inning outing by starting pitcher Michael Theofanopoulos helped Cal (12-7, 0-3 in the Pac-12) snap a four-game losing streak.

The sophomore lefty earned his first win of the season, striking out five and surrendering just three runs on seven hits. His bullpen shut down the Dons, not allowing a single hit the rest of the way to preserve the one-run edge.

All of the offense for both sides occurred in the third and fourth innings. The Bears struck first when designated hitter Vince Bruno belted a two-run home run, the first of his Cal career. San Francisco (10-12) erased that lead in the bottom half of the inning. The Dons clubbed three doubles off Theofanopoulos in the frame, driving in two runs to even the score.

In the fourth inning, the Bears reclaimed the lead with another two-run jack, this one clubbed by center fielder Chad Bunting. Cal’s two homers were the club’s only extra-base hits of the game. San Francisco got one back in the bottom of the fourth. Theofanopoulos got out of the inning with a strikeout, and the Dons managed just one more hit in the game.

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