TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The Cal baseball team did everything thing it needed to do to ensure itself of a postseason bid on Sunday, splitting a two game set with No. 7-ranked Arizona at Jerry Kindall Field in Tucson. The Bears dropped a resumed game from Saturday, 10-5, but bounced back to solidify its case for an at-large NCAA berth with a 7-4 win in the series finale.
Arizona dropped its first conference series of the year with the split and ended the regular season with a 37-19 overall record and a 17-6 mark in the Pac-10, good enough for second place.The split on Sunday handed the Golden Bears (34-23, 13-11) a two to one series victory over the Wildcats and pushed their Pac-10 record to 13-11 on the season.
In the first game of the day, resumed after lightening and rain postponed it tied 4-4 in the seventh inning on Saturday, Arizona scored five runs in the eighth inning to pull away and even the series at one game each.
Golden Spikes finalist Trevor Crowe led the way for the Wildcats, finishing the contest 3 for 4 with his 25th double of the season, his 14th triple, a stolen base, a RBI and game-high four runs scored.
Junior classmate Brad Boyer added a pair of hits in the win to extend his hitting streak to 14 straight games and finished with a triple and a team-best three RBI.
Arizona closer Mark Melancon (4-3) picked up his fourth win of the year with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Cal’s Matt Swanson (6-3) was plagued by fielding errors behind him and was charged with the loss after giving up five runs ?- only one of which was earned ?- on four hits in 1 1/3 innings.
In the series finale game, Cal rallied for three late runs in the eighth and ninth innings to snap a 4-4 tie and probably extend its season into the NCAA’s.
Mike Van Winden (4 for 4, 4 RBI) and Josh Satin (1 for 4, RBI) drove home a pair of key runs in the two-run eighth off of Arizona reliever David Coulon (3-3) and Van Winden padded the lead with a sacrifice fly in the ninth to hand Berkeley the three-run victory.
Cal’s Travis Talbott (6-2) earned his sixth win of the season after stymieing Arizona’s Pac-10 leading offense over the final 3 2/3 innings. The southpaw held the Wildcats hitless and finished with three strikeouts and one walk.
Arizona and Cal will both find out their postseason fate on Monday at 8:30 a.m. PT. The NCAA selection show will be televised live on ESPN.