Battle With The Trojans
BERKELEY – California will welcome USC to Evans Diamond for the Golden Bears' first Pac-12 home series of the season this week, starting with a 6 p.m. PT clash Thursday. Games two and three of the conference series will be played Friday (3 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m.), and all three games will be live streamed.
The Bears (14-9, 2-1 Pac-12), despite losing two straight games dating back to this past Sunday, have won five consecutive series since late February, including their first conference set at Utah on March 26-28. Cal has proven tough to beat at home so far, owning a 10-3 record at Evans Diamond. USC (11-9, 4-2) enters the series having lost three of its previous five games.
- Matchup: Cal (14-9, 2-1 Pac-12) vs. USC (11-9, 4-2 Pac-12) | Evans Diamond – Berkeley, California
- Thursday: 6 p.m. PDT | Cal Live Stream 2 | Live Stats
- Friday: 3 p.m. PDT | Cal Live Stream 4 | Live Stats
- Saturday: 1 p.m. PDT | Cal Live Stream 2 | Live Stats
- Projected rotation: Thursday: RHP Aaron Roberts | Friday: RHP Grant Holman | Saturday: RHP Sean Sullivan
- Cal has hammered a Pac-12-leading 26 home runs, led by conference leader Dylan Beavers (8). The Bears have homered in five straight games and have hit multiple long balls in four of those contests. Eight Bears have homered at least once this season.
- Four of Cal's 10 wins at home have been walk-offs, most recently including Dylan Beavers' walk-off home run vs. CBU on March 21.
- The Bears are seeking their first series win against USC under head coach Mike Neu. Cal is 2-4 against the Trojans since 2018, but most recently earned a 9-8 win on March 17, 2019 in Berkeley.
- Cal's 2.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio is fourth among Pac-12 squads. Josh White (6.67, 40-to-6 ratio) is third in the conference.
- Cal is 12-0 when scoring first and 7-2 when scoring at least once in the first inning this season. Of Cal's 139 runs scored this season, 55 have come in the first three frames.
- The Bears lead the Pac-12 and rank eighth with 20 double plays defensively.
- Darren Baker is doing it all for the Bears. On top of his 28-game reached base streak and .477 batting average when leading off an inning, the senior second baseman has stolen 11 bases in 12 attempts and leads the conference with 78 defensive assists. He's committed just two errors in 114 total chances.
- The hottest bat in Cal's lineup belongs to Nathan Manning, who is batting .600 (15-for-25) since cracking the starting lineup on March 20.
- With the weekend series starting a day earlier than normal, right-hander Aaron Roberts is expected to start Thursday's game as an opener. Roberts has already done so once on March 19 and has yet to allow an earned run in 7.1 innings of work while striking out 12 batters. Cal is 7-3 this season when using an opener on the mound.