Baseball: An instant classic — Renda’s RBI single lifts Cal past No. 14 Stanford in 18th inning

Tony Renda singled home Mike Reuvekamp with two outs in the top of the 18th inning and Cal baseball beat No. 14 Stanford 5-4 in a marathon at Sunken Diamond.

Reuvekamp singled to left to open the 18th and was bunted to second by Danny Oh. Renda drove in the game-winner for the Bears (28-24, 11-17 Pac-12) with a single to center.

Logan Scott pitched 5 1/3 innings of three-hit relief to get the victory. Justin Jones escaped one last comeback try by the Cardinal (37-15, 17-11) in the bottom of the 18th to earn the save and end the six-hour contest.

The victory clinched a winning season for the Bears, who play again at Stanford on Saturday and Sunday to complete their 2012 schedule.

The final rally was preceded by wild 12th-inning fireworks by both clubs.

Chadd Krist hit a two-out, two-run double in the top of the 12th, giving the Bears a 4-2 lead.

But in the bottom of the 12th, Stanford scored once off Cal’s third pitcher, Michael Lowden, who left the bases loaded for reliever Scott. Pinch-hitter Brett Michael Duran then delivered a game-tying single. The Bears sent the game to the 13th when second baseman Reuvekamp (Miramonte HS) made a relay throw home to gun down baserunner Austin Wilson at the plate. 

Cal got 7 2/3 innings from starter Matt Flemer, who scattered seven hits and allowed just one run. Flemer dueled Stanford starter Mark Appel (Monte Vista HS) — regarded as possibly the No. 1 pick in the upcoming baseball draft — on even terms before giving way to reliever Joey Donofrio in the eighth. Donofrio pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball.

The Bears led 1-0 in the second inning when Andrew Knapp delivered an RBI double and tied the game at 2-2 after an RBI groundout by Darrel Matthews in the eighth.

— TRACK AND FIELD: Redshirt freshman Scott Esparza (Amador Valley HS) qualified for the NCAA championship meet with a mark of 206 feet, 3 inches in the hammer throw that ranked No. 5 all-time at Cal. Esparza set a personal best by more than eight feet while finishing eighth in the NCAA Regional preliminary meet at Austin, Texas.

Junior Chad Jones leaped 51-3 1/2 to qualify 11th in the triple jump.

The NCAA championships will be held June 6-9 at Des Moines, Iowa.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    I just got home from the game. Its 130 in the morning. This was an end of season field trip for the team i coach and you can imagine a great one for 7th and 8th graders to enjoy.

    Renda made time like all of the players and coach Esquer to sign autographs for some of my boys. As my starting center fielder said after the game and meeting players, “im proud to wear this Cal shirt”.

  • Will

    Wonderful story, Juancho!