Cal baseball entered last Tuesday’s game against Stanford coming off a weekend series it narrowly lost to No. 23 Oregon. Since then, the Bears have not won a game, and now find themselves on a five-game losing streak after losing to Stanford and Pittsburgh.
The Bears traveled to Pennsylvania for a three-game weekend series against Pitt, only to get swept by the Panthers. The Bears scored 14 runs the entire series — the same number of runs Pitt tallied just on Friday’s game
Cal enters Tuesday night’s game against the Santa Clara Broncos in desperate need for a win. While the Bears have lost their past five games, Santa Clara is on a five-game winning streak, most recently sweeping Pepperdine in a conference series on the road. The game marks the first of two games against these teams this season, with Santa Clara slated to play at Cal’s Stu Gordon Stadium later this month on May 16.
But if Cal wants a win Tuesday night, it should know that Santa Clara won’t go down easily.
Pitt was a team with a 6-8 home record and an overall 17-21 record going into last weekend’s series. Santa Clara holds an even better 11-7 home record, with an impressive 23-15 overall record.
Cal, on the other hand, sits at an 18-22 overall record on the season. The Bears don’t have an imposing away record either, now at 7-11 on the road.
The Bears’ offense will once again need to heavily rely on the core of its lineup for production: catcher Caleb Lomavita, outfielder Rodney Green Jr. and outfielder Kade Kretzschmar.
Lomavita went 3-5 on Friday against Pitt, collecting two RBIs and two stolen bases in the process. Kretzschmar followed suit, continuing to display encouraging results by going 2-4 and 3-5 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Green Jr. is looking to return back to his old form, find himself in a slump and only getting one hit over the entire weekend. If he does get on base, Green Jr. has been a threat for opposing catchers, stealing 25 bases this season.
The Broncos’ offense is led by infielder Efrain Manzo, infielder Robert Hipwell and outfielder Coleman Brigman and the three are certain to give Cal a run for its money
Manzo went 4-5 on Sunday’s game against Pepperdine, racking up five RBIs. Manzo’s 13 home runs and 36 RBIs this season leads both teams
Hipwell played well this weekend against Pepperdine, going 5-13 and getting two RBIs, compared to Brigman’s two hits in 12 at-bats. Overall, Hipwell has a .328 batting average with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs, while Brigman is batting .291 with 33 RBIs.
The Broncos as a team have a collective batting average of .287 and 51 home runs over 38 games.
The predicted starting matchup is sophomore Andres Galan for the Bears, while senior Nick Sando is expected to take the mound for the Broncos.
Galan went 3-0 in April, last pitching on Tuesday against Stanford where he earned the no decision after going 4.1 innings, and allowed 3 earned runs on 6 hits. He also gave up a season-high five walks. If he pitches this week, Tuesday would be his tenth start this season.
Sando is 2-3 on the season with a 5.77 ERA. He’s played in 10 games and started nine. His last appearance was Saturday against Pepperdine, where he went 1.1 innings, allowing two hits but no runs.
With only 10 more games left in the regular season after Tuesday night, the Bears have little room for errors and losses. Cal faces an uphill battle to improve its position in the standings, as the remainder of its conference games will be played against teams with current winning records almost .600 or higher. The Bears sit at last place of the Pac-12 standings with a conference record of 6-15.
The game will start at 6:00 p.m. at the Broncos’ home stadium.