Climbing the chart for the second straight day, the Cal men’s golf team moved into a tie for fourth place as three rounds of stroke play ended at the NCAA tournament.
After starting in 15th place on Tuesday and climbing into a tie for eighth on Wednesday, the Bears have qualified for match play competition beginning Friday.
Cal, the Pac-12 champion, shot a 287 to share fourth place with San Diego State with a 19-over-par score of 871. The Bears and Aztecs will meet Friday in match play quarterfinal action.
Alabama finished first with a seven-over score of 859, two strokes ahead of UCLA.
Kent State and Florida State finished in a tie for the eighth and final spot and will stage a playoff Friday morning to determine the survivor and the right to take on Alabama.
Cal’s Max Homa shot a 68 and has moved into a four-way tie for ninth place. Brandon Hagy, tied for 16th after two rounds, shot a 75 and now sits in a tie for 45th.
The A’s optioned former Cal star Tyson Ross to Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday to make roster room for Yoenis Cespedes.
Ross was 2-6 with a 5.94 ERA in nine starts this season. He gave up four runs and three walks in five innings Wednesday in a loss to Minnesota, and he had a 7.34 ERA over his past seven outings.
Cal junior second baseman Tony Renda was named to Collegiate Baseball’s All-America third team.
Renda batted .342 this season with 16 doubles, five home runs and 27 RBI. He also was second in the Pac-12 with 16 stolen bases.
The top-seeded Golden Bears came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat LSU 5-3 in its opening game of the College World Series at Oklahoma City.
Cal (57-5), having broken the school record for victories in a season, will play fourth-seeded Oklahoma (51-8) in its second-round game Friday at 4 p.m. PDT. The game will be shown on ESPN2.
Frani Echavarria drove in three runs on a single, a sacrifice fly and a ground out to spark the Bears.
Jolene Henderson (37-2) went the distance in the circle, scattering eight hits and striking out five.
Oklahoma broke open a close game to beat South Florida 5-1 behind star pitcher and San Jose native Keilani Ricketts, who threw a complete-game 3-hitter with 11 strikeouts. Ricketts also had an RBI triple while freshman Lauren Chamberlain hit her 28th home run of the season.
The top-seeded Cal softball team will face an array of superb pitchers beginning Thursday at the College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Here’s my story on what awaits the Bears as they go after their second softball national title.
The Golden Bears moved from 15th place to a tie for eighth on the second day of the NCAA Championships at the Riviera Country Club at Pacific Palisades. The top eight teams after Thursday’s final 18-hole round of stroke play advance to match play, beginning Friday.
Cal shot 289 for a 36-hole total of 584, 16 over par. The leader still is Alabama, at four-over 572 for a four-stroke lead over second-place UCLA.
Brandon Hagy (71-73-144) remains the Bears’ individual leader, followed by Max Homa (76-70-146).
Valerie Arioto, Jolene Henderson and Jamia Reid all were named to the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association All-America team.
Arioto and Henderson were picked to the first team, Arioto as a utility player and Henderson as a pitcher. Reid, who plays left field, was chosen to the second tean.
Arioto, a pitcher/first baseman from Pleasanton, was honored by NFCA for the third time. Henderson and Reid both were included on the All-America list for the second time.
Here is Cal’s news release on the subject.
— BASEBALL: Junior second baseman Tony Renda was Cal’s lone representative on the 25-man All-Pac-12 team, announced by the league’s coaches. A three-time selection, Renda was the conference player of the year in 2011. He batted .338 for the Bears this season.
Pitcher Matt Flemer and first baseman Mitch Delfino were honorable mention selections.
Cal softball fans can only hope the rest of the Bears’ stay at the College World Series goes better than their trek to Oklahoma City.
Coach Diane Ninemire, eight players and two staff members did not arrive in OKC until 2:30 a.m. CDT on Wednesday after missing their flight connection Tuesday afternoon in Houston.
The Bears traveled from the Bay Area on several different flights after earning their CWS bid on Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 win over Washington in the NCAA super regional final.
Ninemire and her contingent were routed through Houston. But when their flight from there to OKC left without them, they were stranded for half a day, missing Tuesday night’s pre-tournament banquet.
Among the players who got very little sleep this morning were starters Frani Echavarria, Jamia Reid and Danielle Henderson, along with key reserve Elia Reid.
Cal was scheduled for a morning workout Wednesday and opens play in the event Thursday at 2:30 p.m. CDT vs. LSU.
The Cal men’s golf team is tied for 15th through the first day of the NCAA Championships after shooting an 11-over-par 295 on the par 71 Riviera Country Club course at Pacific Palisades.
The Bears are five strokes out of a top-eight spot that will qualify them for match play beginning Friday. The final 36 holes of stroke play will be contested Wednesday and Thursday.
“We’re not in a bad spot; we’re not in a great spot,” coach Steve Desimone said on Cal’s website.
Alabama is the first-round leader at one-over 285, meaning that none of the 30 teams shot par on Tuesday.
Cal’s Brandon Hagy is tied for 13th individually after shooting a 71. Teammate Pace Johnson is tied for 27th at 72.
The top-seeded Cal softball team (56-5) opens play in the College World Series on Thursday vs. LSU (39-23) in a 12:30 p.m. PDT game that will be televised on ESPN2.
On the same side of the bracket, fourth-seeded Oklahoma (50-8) takes on South Florida (50-12).
The winners meet Friday at 4 p.m. PDT, the losers clash on Saturday at 9 a.m. PDT. Both of those games also will be aired on ESPN2.
The opposite bracket begins Thursday with No. 2 seed Alabama (55-7) facing SEC rival Tennessee (52-12) and third-seeded and defending champ ASU (51-9) battling Pac-12 counterpart Oregon (44-16).
In its 12th trip to the CWS, Cal is hoping to duplicate the title it won 10 years ago.
Here’s a look at the competition in the Bears’ side of the bracket at Oklahoma City:
* LSU: The Tigers, under first-year coach Beth Torina, finished second in the SEC Western Division behind Alabama. They are 5-1 in the postseason, having allowed just three runs in their victories. But they are 1-8 against the rest of the CWS field, including a pair of shutout losses to Oklahoma and a 14-3 drubbing at the hands of Cal on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas.