Freshman Mason pitches California past No. 7 UCLA with solid start
LOS ANGELES -- California upended No. 7 UCLA 5-1 Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Cal (14-8, 4-0) broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the seventh inning on RBI doubles Chris Paul and Brian Celsi, and an RBI single by Devin Pearson. Freshman right-hander Ryan Mason was superb, throwing 8 innings and striking out five to improve his season record to 4-0.
"It was a great pitching performance by Ryan Mason," said Cal coach David Esquer. "We also got big hits from Chris Paul and Brian Celsi, and Devin Pearson had an outstanding game and was in the middle of all our scoring. The guys played a great game."
The Bears scored in the top of the first inning off of the Bruins' starter Adam Plutko (2-1, 6.2 innings, four hits, five runs, two walks, five strikeouts) when freshman center fielder Pearson led off the game with a double to right field, was advanced to third base on a Mike Reuvekamp sacrifice bunt, and scored on junior first baseman Devon Rodriguez's sacrifice fly to right field.
UCLA (15-4, 3-1) came back with a run in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI ground out, but that was the only runs standout Mason would allow as he threw a career-high 8.0 innings, allowing five hits with four walks and five strikeouts. The Bruins ended up leaving nine runners on base.
Cal broke open the 1-1 game with four runs in the seventh inning when junior catcher Andrew Knapp led off the seventh with a walk and was sacrificed to second base by freshman Mitchell Kranson. Knapp then scored on sophomore third baseman Paul's double down the right field line.
Later in the seventh, sophomore second baseman Brenden Farney had a two-out walk and both Farney and Paul scored on freshman left fielder Celsi's two-run double down the left field line. Finally, Celsi scored on Pearson's RBI single through the middle of the infield.
Pearson finished the evening 3-for-5 with a double and RBI, while Paul and Celsi were both 2-for-4. Senior right-hander Logan Scott sealed the win by throwing the ninth inning with no hits, no runs, one walk and two strikeouts.