Walk-Off Magic Continues
BERKELEY – Dylan Beavers smacked a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning as California rallied to defeat California Baptist, 9-8, in a series-clinching victory Sunday afternoon at Evans Diamond.
The Golden Bears (12-7) trailed by as many as four runs in the fourth and never held a lead before Beavers' walk-off – his seventh home run of the season – sent them home with a victory. It was Cal's fifth walk-off win of the 2021 season.
Trailing, 8-5, Cal scored three times to tie it in the eighth with some help from a CBU defensive miscue. After walks by Nathan Martorella and John Lagattuta and a single by Nathan Manning loaded the bases with no outs, Cole Elvis singled through the right side to cut the deficit to two. Jag Burden hit into a double play in the next at bat, but Cal then capitalized on a CBU fielding error at shortstop that allowed Manning and Elvis to score and tie it, 8-8. Elvis added to the drama on his game-tying run, avoiding the tag at the plate with a nifty slide.
The Lancers (11-6) put the potential go-ahead run on third base with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Steven Zobac, who earned the win on the mound, escaped the jam by inducing a foul flyout to left field. That set the stage for Beavers to deposit a 1-1 pitch over the right-field wall with one out in the home half of the ninth.
CBU jumped ahead early against Cal starter Paulshawn Pasqualotto and led 6-2 going into the bottom of the fourth. Cal fought back that inning, using four consecutive hits to plate three runs, highlighted by RBI singles from Manning and Elvis. With new life heading into the fifth, Cal turned to Ian Villers, who met the challenge on the mound by holding CBU hitless over a career-high three innings pitched.
Despite another two runs by CBU in the top of the eighth, Cal was still able to pull off the rally with the final four runs of the contest.
- The Bears' win on Sunday clinched their fourth consecutive series victory dating back to the second week of the season.
- Cal improved to 10-3 at Evans Diamond. Half of those 10 wins have been walk-offs.
- After being held scoreless in Friday's series opener, Cal recorded 24 runs across games two and three.
- Cole Elvis tied career highs with three hits and three RBI. He tallied his second home run of the season in the third inning.
- Four Bears – Elvis (3-for-4), Quentin Selma (2-for-4), Nathan Martorella (2-for-3) and Nathan Manning (2-for-4) – had multi-hit efforts.
- With his walk-off home run, Dylan Beavers extended his hit streak to 12 games.
- Steven Zobac improved to 2-0 on the mound. He recorded Cal's final six outs.
- Darren Baker (24), Dylan Beavers (20) and Quentin Selma (18) extended their reached-base streaks.
Pac-12 action awaits Cal next weekend. The Bears will make their first true road trip of the season to face Utah in Salt Lake City on March 26-28.
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