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Horwitz’s streak hits 17 as Bears beat Columbia 5-2

By Ralph Gaston Daily Planet Correspondent
Thursday March 15, 2001

In a game that took only two hours to complete, Andrew Sproul pitched five solid innings and Brian Horwitz had three hits and drove in a run to lead California past Columbia, 5-2, this afternoon at Evans Diamond. The win was the third in a row for the Bears, and improves their record to 13-9 on the season. 

Sproul (2-0) was solid in his five innings of work, striking out four and walking only one batter. The Cal right-hander gave up an RBI double to Columbia catcher Joe Catsom in the second inning, then settled in to shut down the Lion offense.  

“I thought our pitchers did well today, and we took advantage of opportunities to score,” said Cal head coach David Esquer. “We don’t always take advantage; we’re a young team, and we show that sometimes.” 

The Bears, meanwhile, were hitless going into the fourth inning. With two outs, Horwitz sent a Brian McKitish (0-2) fastball over the left field fence to tie the score. Horwitz’s first home run as a Golden Bear was followed by a walk to first baseman Clint Hoover and consecutive doubles into the left-centerfield gap by Conor Jackson and John Baker, giving the Bears a 3-1 lead. Horwitz was 3-for-4 on the afternoon, extending his hitting streak to 17 games.  

“(Horwitz) is hitting the ball very well for us,” said Esquer. “We need to get other guys to hit at his level.” 

The Bears tacked on insurance runs in the later innings. In the 6th, rightfielder Rob Meyer reached on a throwing error by shortstop Billy Hess, and advanced to third on Horwitz’ single to right. He scored on a groundout to second by Jackson. In the 7th, Carson White hit a leadoff double off of reliever Adam Schwartz and advanced to third on leftfielder PJ Monyihan’s fielding error, then scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Spencer Wyman. 

The Lions’ final rally came in the top of the 8th inning. With one out, Keith Palmieri and Monyihan hit back-to-back singles off of reliever Ryan Lubner to put runners on first and third with one away. Matt Buckmiller popped up to short, but senior rightfielder Justin Berti came through with a two-out single to drive in Palmieri and push the score to 5-2. Hess, representing the tying run, hit a hard line drive to rightfield that ended up in Meyer’s glove, ending the inning and the threat. Matt Brown struck out two batters in the 9th to record his fourth save. 

The Bears will open their Pac-10 conference schedule this weekend as 4th-ranked Arizona State comes to Evans Diamond.  

“We have to pay attention to detail even more against a team like Arizona State,” commented Esquer. “Against teams like (ASU) and Stanford, the game is often decided by a small details.”  

Friday’s game begins at 2 p.m.; both weekend contests will start at 1 p.m.