Cal tops UAPB at Tiger Classic

AUBURN, Ala. — Led by senior left fielder Vince Bruno and junior left-hander Michael Theofanopoulos, California (5-2) won its third straight game of the Tiger Classic with an 8-3 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday.

Bruno finished the day 2 for 3 with a two-run home run in the first inning and a career-high four RBIs. Theofanopoulos earned his first win of the season by throwing six innings with two hits, two earned runs, two walks and a career-high nine strikeouts.

The Golden Bears defeated East Tennessee State, 3-0, on Friday and host Auburn, 5-0, on Saturday — essentially winning the Tiger Classic.

UAPB fell to 0-9 but will host SWAC opponent Prairie View A&M on Saturday, beginning with a doubleheader at noon at the Torii Hunter Baseball Complex.

On Sunday, Cal jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on Bruno’s two-run home run, followed by a solo home run by senior designated hitter Devon Rodriguez.

Rodriguez finished the game with two hits in four trips and two RBIs.

UAPB came back with two runs in the top of the third inning — ending Cal’s 22-scoreless inning streak by scoring on a wild pitch and an error, but the Bears put the game away with four runs in the fourth inning.

The Lions also scored a run in the top of the sixth.

Redshirt sophomore Felix Baez Pool is tagged with the loss. He pitched three innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on three hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

UAPB used six other pitchers in the game. Junior relief pitcher Dixon Marble lasted just one inning, but allowed four runs (all earned) on four hits with a walk and one strikeout.

Junior Skyler Henson gave up a run (earned) on two hits with one walk in just two-thirds of an inning.

UAPB junior Mitch Bruckshaw led at the plate, finishing 1 for 2 with a run scored and two walks. Senior Kirby Campbell was 1 for 4 with a run while Jose Hernandez and Tyler Oertle tallied the other two hits for the Lions.