Justin Jones shuts down Dallas Baptist but leaves with cramped arm
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Sophomore Justin Jones has kept his cap with him every step of his collegiate career. It's faded, dirty and lined with dried salt. He's not about to part company with it now.
Jones threw six innings of one-hit ball before leaving with a left biceps problem and California powered past Dallas Baptist 7-0 on Saturday in the first game of an NCAA Super Regional."There's a lot of love here," Jones said, tugging at his cap. "This hat has been with me through a lot. It's my buddy."Jones (9-6) has yet to allow an earned run in four postseason appearances. He has a pair of wins and a save so far."Justin was fantastic," Bears coach David Esquer said. "He was in control. He experienced some tightness in his biceps, some cramping so it was time to get him out."Chad Bunting and Marcus Semien each hit a three-run homers and Devon Rodriguez also drove in a run for the Bears (36-21) are one win away from qualifying for the College World Series for the first time in 19 years not long after the program was nearly dropped."That's the last thing we're thinking about," Esquer said. "We have a lot of work to do and we have a tough opponent."Brandon Williamson went 7 2/3 innings for the Patriots (42-19), who entered the game with the second most runs scored in the nation. Williamson (10-4) allowed a season-high seven runs on 10 hits. He walked one and struck out three."I felt I was throwing pretty much the same," Williamson said. "They did a great job. They got the bat head to it and happened to get a couple out of the yard."Jones, who walked one and struck out three, was warming up for the seventh when he walked off the mound and began rubbing his left biceps."The first pitch I felt a little tightness and the next pitch I cramped up," Jones said. "I knew I wouldn't be able to continue. There were a lot of emotions. I was frustrated but my teammates were there and we were in good shape."Logan Scott pitched the final three innings, giving up two hits, to record his first career save.The Patriots were shut out for the second time all season. They lost, 1-0, at Washington on March 11."The best thing he did was use that changeup," Patriots coach Dan Heefner said of Jones. "Our mistake was to let it affect our timing on the next pitch. He dictated our timing."Bunting hit his seventh home run of the season with one out in the second to give the Bears the early advantage.Williamson allowed as many runs on the one pitch than he did in 10 2/3 innings in last weekend's Fort Worth Regional.Rodriguez, the hero of the Houston Regional with a game-winning hit in the final game, added a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 4-1.Semien's fifth home run of the season came after a wild pitch allowed Tony Renda to reach safely on a strikeout and Williamson walked Chad Krist.Jones gave up a first-inning single to Jason Krizan, the national leader in hits with 102, and then retired 15 in a row before walking Tyler Robbins with two outs in the sixth.
C Bunting homered to left, D Rodriguez and M Delfino scored.
D Rodriguez hit sacrifice fly to center, M Semien scored.
M Semien homered to left, D Tanaka and C Krist scored.