No Bowl for Cal After Last-Second Loss to Huskies

325615.jpg

No Bowl for Cal After Last-Second Loss to Huskies

Nov. 27, 2010
CAL PAGEWASHINGTON PAGE BOX SCORE
PAC-10 SCOREBOARD

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) Chris Polk scored on a 1-yard run as time expired, and Washington denied California bowl eligibility while keeping its own postseason hopes alive with a thrilling 16-13 victory Saturday.Quarterback Jake Locker, who threw an earlier 80-yard touchdown pass, was stopped on consecutive sneak attempts on second and third down from the 1 before Polk came through for the Huskies. The winning touchdown set of a celebratory pileup behind the end zone, and the players danced near their contingent of fans well after the game ended.Washington (5-6, 4-4 Pac-10) still needs a victory in next weekend's Apple Cup rivalry game at Washington State to reach its first bowl since 2002.Cal (5-7, 3-6), playing in a downpour for much of the final game at Memorial Stadium before the 87-year-old venue undergoes a major renovation, lost its third straight and couldn't rebound from an embarrassing rout by rival Stanford in last week's Big Game. The Golden Bears' postseason streak is over after a seven-year run.Locker - still playing with a broken rib - went 17 for 27 for 237 yards and was sacked three times. He set up the winning score with a 46-yard completion to a diving Jermaine Kearse.Locker returned for his senior season to get Washington back to a bowl game, and thanks to his strong finish, the Huskies still have a shot to do it.Giorgio Tavecchio kicked a go-ahead 47-yard field goal with 10:53 left for Cal after Cameron Jordan scooped up Locker's fumble and ran it 20 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter for the Bears, who were hurt by seven penalties for 74 yards.Cal, which shut out an opponent in a first half for the fifth time this season, won't be in the postseason for the first time since 2002, coach Jeff Tedford's first season.The second half was in stark contract to the lackluster, back-and-forth first two quarters that featured more mistakes than memorable plays. Tavecchio's career-best 53-yard field goal as the first half expired put Cal ahead 3-0. It was the seventh-longest in school history and two yards short of the school record.Washington coach Steve Sarkisian fumed and gestured in frustration when he met with officials as the teams went to their locker rooms, moments after Cal was given an extra second on the clock following a late timeout.The Huskies were limited to 123 yards in the first half.A year ago in Seattle, Locker had one of his best games ever against the Bears. He threw for three touchdowns, ran for two more and Washington whipped 19th-ranked Cal 42-10.Saturday's sendoff game at Memorial Stadium was played in front of a sparse crowd listed at 44,613 on a cold, dreary day for a game that began and ended with a heavy rainstorm - though Holiday Bowl representative Scott Alevy was among those in attendance. Cal will play its home games at the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park next season during the facelift.Bears quarterback Brock Mansion was 12 for 23 for 92 yards. Cal junior tailback Shane Vereen ran for 106 yards to extend his career-high season total to 1,167 with his 11th career 100-yard game.This sequence summed up the way the first half went: In the second quarter, Keenan Allen took a direct snap for a 45-yard gain to the Washington 26, but lost 11 yards on the very next play after recovering his own fumble. Cal wound up punting.Washington's deepest drive early in the second quarter was thwarted when freshman backup running back Jesse Callier fumbled, and Cal recovered at the 29. But on the Bears' ensuing play, Mansion - making his fourth start in place of injured veteran Kevin Riley - threw an interception.Later, on first-and-10 from the 35, a deep pass by Locker was picked off by Marc Anthony in the end zone.

With Bumgarner sidelined, Blach 'taking full advantage' of opportunity

With Bumgarner sidelined, Blach 'taking full advantage' of opportunity

SAN FRANCISCO -- At some point over the next four days, Madison Bumgarner will pick up a baseball, stand a few feet across from a member of the training staff, and simply play catch. It'll be a huge step in Bumgarner's rehab, and should it go well, a boost to the psyche of a struggling team.

In the meantime, another lefty is making sure the Giants don't suffer too much without their ace, as improbable as that first seemed.

Ty Blach took a shutout into the eighth Saturday night and in true Bumgarner fashion, he added a pair of hits and an RBI. The Giants beat the Braves 6-3. They've won Blach's past three starts, and even with a 10-run outing in Cincinnati mixed in, he has a 3.71 ERA since taking the spot left open by a dirt bike accident.

"Because of what happened he's in the rotation," manager Bruce Bochy said, "And he's taking full advantage."

Blach has shown that long term, he might be a big part of this rotation. It's been years since the Giants locked a young, cost-controlled starter in, and Blach has backed up his big cameo last year. It's possible -- likely even -- that at some point the Giants will need to trade a veteran, perhaps Johnny Cueto, for young bats. Blach provides needed insurance. 

Short term, he's providing a huge boost to a team that doesn't have much going right. Blach has thrown at least seven innings in his past four starts. He has allowed just eight earned runs in four starts since the one in Cincinnati, throwing 28 2/3 innings. 

"I feel good," Blach said. "I've always been a starter, so it's been a pretty easy transition to make. I feel comfortable."

The Giants are comfortable behind him, as evidenced by a half-dozen strong defensive plays Saturday. 

"He's been consistent and he works quickly," first baseman Brandon Belt said. "He's just a great guy to play behind."

Blach even joined in at the plate. He had an RBI single in his first at-bat -- his first big league hit off Not Clayton Kershaw -- and later roped another single. Blach even showed off his wheels, busting it from first to third on Denard Span's ball to the corner before Phil Nevin held him up. 

"I worked into some good counts and I was able to get fastballs," Blach said of his night at the plate. "It's definitely a big confidence booster when your spot comes up and you're able to drive in runs."

The night was straight out of Bumgarner's playbook, and it was needed. The Giants had dropped five of six, but Blach was backed by homers from Nick Hundley and Brandon Belt. It got a little hairy late, but the bullpen held on, clinching Blach's third win of the season. He looks poised for many more, and Bochy is happy to keep running him out there.

"I'm not surprised by what he's doing," the manager said.

 

Instant Analysis: Blach does it all vs Braves, Giants snap skid

Instant Analysis: Blach does it all vs Braves, Giants snap skid

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — This spot in the rotation is the one reserved for the stopper, the pitcher who takes a game by the throat when his team really needs it. 

Ty Blach took the mound Saturday for a team that had lost five of six, and just as Madison Bumgarner often has, Blach ended the skid. The young lefty was dominant into the eighth and the bats finally provided enough support. The Giants won 6-3, tying this weekend series with the Braves.

Here are five things to know from a night we were reminded that Emilio Bonifacio is in the big leagues … 

--- Blach pitched 7 2/3 innings. He has thrown at least seven innings in his last four starts, and five of seven starts overall. Jeff Samardzija (6) is the only Giants starter who has gone that deep more often. Blach is tied with Johnny Cueto for second-most seven-inning starts on staff, and Cueto has made three additional starts. 

--- Blach’s RBI single in the fourth was -- at the time -- the fourth hit of his career, and the first against a pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw. The ball had an exit velocity of 101 mph. Blach tried to score from first on Denard Span’s double, but Phil Nevin held him. Still, the way he was moving, it makes you wonder if Samardzija really is Bruce Bochy’s best pitcher-pinch-running option. In the seventh, Blach picked up a second single. 

--- Blach’s only bad start has been the one he made in Cincinnati, where the Giants played like a Double-A team. If you take that one out, Blach has a 2.21 ERA since taking over Bumgarner’s rotation spot. 

--- Even though he gave up just two earned in 7 2/3, Blach’s home ERA actually went up. It’s 1.75, which ranks seventh in the National League. The sellout crowd gave Blach a standing ovation when he was pulled in the eighth. 

--- Blach had a season-high five strikeouts. When he got Nick Markakis to end the first, Blach ended a streak of 37 left-handers faced without a strikeout. He later struck out another lefty, Matt Adams. The new Braves first baseman came up as the tying run in the eighth but Derek Law got him to ground out to first. 

--- Bonus sixth “thing to know” ... on Blach of course: His first name is Tyson, not Tyler. It’s Tyson Michael Blach.