Bears Fall In Series Opener
BERKELEY – Solo home runs by Steven Zobac and Connor Mack were not enough as California dropped its series opener against Loyola Marymount, 4-3, at Evans Diamond on Friday night.
Aside from the two long balls, the Golden Bears (7-6) could not string together enough offensive momentum and left 11 runners on base. Cal was just 1-for-17 at the plate with runners on base in its second straight loss dating back to last Sunday.
Despite the struggles, Cal still found itself within striking distance after Mack's pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the eighth inning tightened the deficit to one run, 4-3. After Jack Wolger and Nick Proctor worked through a scoreless top half of the ninth, the Bears put the game-winning run on first base with no outs when Darren Baker singled and Zobac walked in consecutive at bats. The following three Cal batters went down, however, ending the threat and the contest.
The Lions (6-4) plated the first run of the game in the first inning against opener Ian Villers, who tossed the first two frames for Cal. Zobac's home run in the following half inning knotted the score.
LMU reclaimed its lead for good in the fourth with two runs against Sam Stoutenborough (0-1), who took the loss. Stoutenborough threw six innings, struck out five batters and scattered five hits, but let three wild pitches lead to three runs allowed.
Nathan Manning, making his first start of the season in left field, singled, stole second base and scored on single by Keshawn Ogans in the fourth for Cal's second run of the game.
- Darren Baker (2-for-3) and Dylan Beavers (1-for-4) extended their team-leading reached-base streaks to 13 games. Two other Bears, Quentin Selma and Steven Zobac, have streaks of 12 and 10.
- Connor Mack's home run was his first since May 4, 2019 at Utah.
- Ian Villers made his fifth "opener" start of the season.
- Baker swiped his eighth bag of the year. Cal is 18-for-21 in stolen bases so far.
- In his first start of the year, Nathan Manning was 1-for-2 with one run, one walk and a stolen base. The hit was the first of his career.
Let's play two. The weekend series resumes Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. PT at Evans Diamond.
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