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Cal Series Preview

Texas Tech travels to Berkeley this weekend for a four game series against the Golden Bears

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

After a tough series loss to a solid Cal State Fullerton, Tech will face off with another team from the golden state. Cal is ranked 9 in Baseball America's top 25 this week and is 9-3 on the season. This series is Tech's last full series before they start conference play against Baylor on the 18th.

In Cal's last series the team traveled to Austin, sweeping the four games against the longhorns by an aggregate score of 24-11 last weekend. The Golden Bears are 8-2 in their last 10 games with losses coming at Duke and at home against Michigan.

Offensively Cal is led by sophomore catcher Brett Cumberland. Their hard-hitting backstop through 11 games has a slash line of .405/.522/.730. That's nothing to shake a stick at even if it's just 45 plate appearances. He's walked more times than he's struck out and for the season Cumberland has a homer for every two strikeouts. This is major offensive production from a position that, especially in college, doesn't produce much offense. Last year Cumberland started off the year hot like this as well. The man had an 11 game hit streak to start his college career. During that streak he hit .361 with three doubles, three dingers, and 13 RBI.

Another hot bat for Cal is senior outfielder Brian Celsi. The lefty is hitting .311 with four extra-base hits and is second on the team with six walks.

Cal's pitching staff is anchored by senior ace Ryan Mason and his fabulous facial hair. Mason has been at the top of the Golden Bear's rotation since his freshman year. The righty hurler has made three starts this year accumulating 20 innings in those starts. His miniscule ERA of 1.80 exists because of his ability to limit baserunners and get key strikeouts when he needs to. Mason's WHIP is 1.10 this year and he's struck out 18 batters on the season.

These Golden Bears are ferocious and playing well right now. A series win will be tough but is doable, and a split would be a solid sign for this team.