Elvis Leaves The Building
BERKELEY – Cole Elvis smacked a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and Sam Stoutenborough tossed 5.2 scoreless relief frames to lead California to a 4-3 win over San Francisco Friday night at Evans Diamond.
The Golden Bears entered the ninth with a 3-1 lead, but USF (2-3) tied the game with a pair of unearned runs on a two-out double by Ryan Davis. Elvis quickly ended it in the home half of the ninth, depositing a 3-1 pitch over the left-field fence to earn Cal (3-3) its second straight win and second walk-off victory in as many weeks.
Cal tallied a season-high 12 hits, led by Darren Baker's 3-for-4 effort. Quentin Selma, Steven Zobac and Elvis had two hits apiece.
Dylan Beavers jump-started the Cal offense in the first, plating Baker with a single into the left-center gap. After the Dons tied it with a sacrifice fly in the second, Beavers executed once again with a sacrifice fly of his own to regain the lead. Cal made it a 3-1 contest in the fourth when Zobac scored from third base on a double play after leading off the frame with a single.
Stoutenborough kept the Dons' bats quiet throughout the thick of the contest, striking out seven while allowing just two hits over his 5.2 innings pitched. He relieved Ian Villers – who made his third start of the season – with one out in the third and pitched through the eighth, retiring the final eight batters he faced.
Aaron Roberts (1-0) earned the win on the mound. He struck out a pair in the ninth inning while both runs he allowed were unearned.
- Stoutenborough's seven strikeouts are a career-high.
- The walk-off home run was Elvis' sixth career long ball and first since the 2019 season.
- Cal's three pitchers – Villers, Stoutenborough and Roberts – posted 11 strikeouts. It's the third time Cal has had double-digit strikeouts.
- The Bears own a 53-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the mound.
- Beavers' two RBI gives him a team-high eight for the season. He has five RBI so far this series with two games left to play.
- Baker has scored at least once in all six games this season.
Cal head coach Mike Neu:
On the walk-off win:
"I thought we competed well throughout the game and put ourselves in a position to win against a good team in USF. We grabbed an early lead and held onto it until late. Our pitching was great all game. We had some opportunities to get some big hits and open it up, and while we didn't quite get there offensively, our pitching staff really held it down. [Aaron] Roberts pitched really well at the end. Then [Cole] Elvis followed it up with his enormous walk-off hit."
On winning two straight games:
"We're continuing to get better as the early season progresses. As we've played six games, we've improved a little bit each game. That's what you want to see. We have a lot of guys who are getting more comfortable in the big moments, and that'll pay off in the future."
On Sam Stoutenborough's performance:
"Sam was great on the mound. We knew he'd be coming out of the bullpen and we hoped he'd give us the bulk of the game; for him to give us 5.2 [innings] of shutout work, you can't ask for more. He was really dominant at times and he probably could've finished the game if he hadn't hit his pitch count. It was a huge performance by Sam."
The four-game series shifts across the Bay to for the rest of the weekend. Game three against the Dons will start at 2 p.m. PT Saturday at Benedetti Diamond in San Francisco.
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