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Cal looks to carry momentum to Bay Area for DeMarini Invitational

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MARCH 02, 2023

The Bears will round out their tournaments following their short trip to the Bay this weekend at the DeMarini Invitational, then turn to sweep the season series against the UC Davis Aggies.

The DeMarini Invitational will task Cal with two matchups against both Miami (Ohio) which holds an 8-2 record, and Villanova, which finds itself at a 6-9 record.

The tournament is familiar territory for the Bears as they look to replicate another perfect run for a second consecutive year. The Bears are in a good position to do so — Cal is entering the tournament with a 14-2 record and an active nine-game winning streak. The Bears have been handling business both on the mound and in the batter’s box.

The blue and gold have averaged to bring in six runs while only allowing just over two runs per game, creating a margin of victory just shy of four runs in that nine-game stretch — a recipe for success.

As for conference standings, Cal is in second place behind UCLA, and hoping to inch closer to its Southern Californian rival over the weekend. Keeping up at a winning pace will ensure a tighter race for the number one seed in the Pac-12.

Third-year head coach, Chelsea Spencer, has been at the helm of the success, looking to increase the team’s total wins for the third straight year.

“Our motto here is to get better every day and to give our best effort every day and come in with a great attitude,” said Spencer.

The DeMarini Invitational pitches off Friday against the Miami RedHawks at Stanford.

Historically, they have not been an easy opponent for Cal, as past struggles have led to an 0-2-1 all-time record. The RedHawks haven’t slowed down either, going on a winning streak of eight straight games. All of this crafts a picture-perfect matchup looking to end a streak on either side.

Coach Spencer emphasized the importance of executing their plan in the box and on every pitch while making routine plays on defense as well, mentioning that “we slightly overlooked (the RedHawks) last year and they slapped us in our face.”

The game against the Villanova Wildcats, Cal’s second opponent, will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The latter of the two games between them will be held at Levine-Fricke Field, headlining Cal’s home debut to conclude the tournament.

The Wildcats have not been the powerhouse they once were in 2021, when they became the champions of the Big East. In fact, they have been the polar opposite, struggling as of late and only managing to notch three wins in their last 10 games. This seems to be a matchup that would be considered to be more favorable if existing trends on both sides continue.

After this tournament, the Bears will visit UC Davis’ La Rue Field, where they will have their second and final outing against the Aggies this season. The last time Cal suffered a loss against the Aggies was in 2019. Historically, the Bears have dominated Davis, showcased by their 19-1 series lead. Cal’s 3-1 victory earlier this season brings the team to four straight wins against them.

Despite coming up short against the Bears, the Aggies have started their season 6-3, winning six of their first seven games — they are not a team that should be overlooked by any means.

“At the end of the day, it’s not the best team that’s gonna win. It’s a team that plays the best,” said Spencer.

When the two teams met at the Wilson Invitational, Davis did not play its best pitcher against the Bears. Cal, then, could very well be faced with a much different team exiting the tournament, keeping the team on its toes.

Nonetheless, winning seems to be a common theme among this ballclub — something that could well carry into this upcoming slate of games.

Contact Eric Hayrapetian at 


MARCH 08, 2023