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Palms of Victory: Cal Men's Crew wins Big Row, Women's Track & Field wins Big Meet
Cal Baseball sweeps a Pac-12 series at Washington
We have two weekends of Cal victories to recap this time since I never got around to write a post last week.
In case you missed it, Cal Beach Volleyball earned a couple of wins (over Oregon and an upset win over Arizona) at the Pac-12 tournament this past weekend but effectively finished 4th in the conference behind three teams (UCLA, USC, Stanford) that made the 8-team NCAA tournament.
The weekend prior to that, Cal Women’s Tennis won their first Pac-12 tournament with victories over Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA. The conference title run buoyed the team to a 16th national seed in the NCAA tournament that will begin this Friday with the Cal Bears hosting their first two rounds.
Below are the rest of the Cal victories from April 23rd to May 4th.
Cal Crew races Stanford, Washington
The shortened crew (or rowing…as that is the official NCAA name for women’s rowing) season saw the Golden Bears race against their main rivals for the last two weekends in a pair of dual meets.
The Cal Men was able to win both races against Stanford in possibly the last somewhat competitive Big Row in quite some time since Stanford had announced the cutting of their men’s rowing program (since it is not a NCAA sponsored sport).
Men’s Big Row results:
Cal then battled No.1 Washington up in Seattle this more recent weekend. This time, only the 3V8 Cal boat was able to win. Although Cal was able to beat Stanford by 7 and 13 seconds for the V8 and 2V8 races, respectively, they lost to Washington by 4 and 5 seconds.
The men’s rowing championship is annually decided purely by the result of the Varsity 8 race at the IRA Championship. With 2x defending champ Yale’s status uncertain for this year, Washington was likely to be Cal’s main opponent for another national title.
The Cal women also raced the same opponents for the past two weekends. They have plenty of work to do between now and the Pac-12 Championships as they lost three races to Stanford (V8, 2V8, V4 - the three boats will score points at the NCAA) and four to Washington (V8, 2V8, 3V8, and V4). A 2V4 boat was able to beat Sac State at a different meet.
This season is so short that the next races for Cal will be the Pac-12 Championships on May 16th. Both the IRA Championships (for the men) and the NCAA Championships (for the women) will be on May 28th and 29th.
While Cal is perennial championship contender in both of these sports, one has to be slightly concerned about how much better the Cal Bears can improve in the coming weeks to seriously overtake Washington when it will better the most.
Cal Track and Field wins 18 events at Big Meet, women defeats Stanford
Cal hosted the 126th edition of the Big Meet from Edwards Stadium this past weekend. The Golden Bear won a total of 18 events.
Women: Cal 88, Stanford 74
Cal swept the podium on hammer throw with Camryn Rogers, Anna Purchase, and Jasmine Blair going 1-2-3. Cal also won on High Jump (Hawa Wague), Pole Vault (Amari Turner), Shot Put (Krissy Smoot), Triple Jump (Asha Fletcher), 3000m Steeplechase (Annie Boos), 100m Hurdles (Deshae Wise), 400m (Adaeze Noble), annd 200m (Deshae Wise again).
Stanford men edged Cal 85-75, although Cal did win 8 events. Ivar Moisander won both Hammer Throw and Javelin Throw. Josh Johnson won Shot Put. Iffy Joyner won Discus Throw. Cal also won Long Jump (Kamau Carlisle), High Jump (Jai Williams), 110m Hurdles (Riley Hunt), and 400m (Henry Larkins). Freshman Garrett MacQuiddy posted a PR in 1500m but placed 2nd for the first time this outdoor season.
The Pac-12 Championships hosted by USC is up next on May 14th-16th.
Cal Baseball wins 3 at Washington for 1st Pac-12 sweep of 2021
Cal Baseball improved to 23-19, 9-9 in Pac-12 on the season by going 5-2 over the past two weeks. Cal won one against Washington State at homee and took all three games at Washington. Cal also overcame a 9-run deficit to beat San Jose State on Tuesday.
Cal 3, Washigton State 2
Grant Holman had a strong start (6 scoreless) and the Bears used an 8th-inning rally to snap a four-game losing streak. Darren Baker drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the 8th.
Cal 9, Washington 0
A two-run home run by Cole Elvis and a solo shot from John Lagattuta were a part of a relentless Cal offensive attack. A number of pitchers patched together the shutout. Cal was able snap a two game losing streak.
Cal 5, Washington 1
Sean Sullivan allowed only one run. Solo homers by Dylan Beavers and Cole Elvis helped the Bears secure a Pac-12 series win.
Cal 3, Washington 2
Grant Holman did not pitch until the series finale and went 4 scoreless while allowing 1 hit and 3 walks. Dylan Beavers hit a solo shot in the third while Nathan Martorella hit a two-run go-ahead single in the eighth.
Cal 18, San Jose State 10
Trailing by 9-run by the end of 4th inning, Cal answered with a 11-run inning in a wild midweek game (renown for bad pitching as teams use a lot of youngsters). Senior Quentin Selma hit a grand slam. Sophomore Dylan Beavers homered for the 3rd straight game to extend his Pac-12 lead to 13.
Check out those line scores.
Stay tuned to W4C for my post on Cal’s MLB Draft prospects (primarily Grant Holman) on Friday. Cal will host Arizona State this Friday, Saturday, Sunday before closing the season against Stanford (2nd in Pac-12), UCLA (5th in Pac-12), and Oregon (3rd in Pac-12).
The Golden Bears are currently on the outside of any NCAA field projections but there are plenty of quality wins to be have in the regular-season to improve their resume.
Cal Rugby ends short season with a win over Arizona
Cal scored 8 tries and had little to no issue against Arizona to win 48-7. Two graduating seniors Ken Kurihara, who scored the first try of the match, and Owen Duvall got to play one last time at Witter Rugby Field.
The official Cal recap (link in the tweet) said that the Cal Bears (2-1) are done with rugby this spring. UCLA rugby had just started practice recently and there is a Collegiate Rugby Championship “May Madness”, the rugby 7s tournament that the Cal Bears have won 5x, at the end of month from New Orleans, LA. Yet Cal Rugby does not appear to plan to play either in this pandemic shortened season. The CRC field (only 25 of the 32 spots have been filled right now) looks uncharacteristically weak after Life and Lindenwood, who both had played a full season (although Lindenwood just canceled their weekend 15s match vs. Army due to COVID on the team); it is perhaps understandable why the Cal Bears will opt to just prepare for the fall.
Cal Women’s Water Polo closes season with an MPSF tournament 5th place win
After a disappointing 12-8 loss to Arizona State in a must-win MPSF opening game (both teams were tied in the ranking for the last NCAA at-large bid before that game) on Friday, Cal Women’s Water Polo was at least able to close their 2021 season with a win; the Cal Bears beat Indiana in the MPSF tournament 5th place game.
Although Cal did beat Arizona State twice in the regular-season, the NCAA selection picked the Sun Devils over the Golden Bears for the last at-large bid due to this most recently loss. Cal just fell behind too quickly on Friday and could not recover.
Dutch junior center Kitty Lynn Joustra scored a career best 6 goals in this victory. Cal closed their season with a 12-7 record, where they went 0-6 against USC, UCLA, and Stanford. We shall see if any of the Cal seniors will return next year as well as if Emma Wright will indeed return from her two year Olympic sabbatical to train/play/qualify for the Tokyo Olympics with her native Canadian national team.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!