Bears’ Bats Go Quiet In Loss To USC
BERKELEY – California could not get the bats going against USC starter Isaac Esqueda as the Golden Bears dropped a series-opening 6-1 loss to the Trojans Thursday night at Evans Diamond.
Cal (14-10, 2-2 Pac-12) managed just five hits against Esqueda, as the Trojan left-hander tossed eight innings to help USC improve to 12-9 (5-2). The five-run defeat was Cal's third straight loss dating back to last weekend.
The Trojans plated all six of their runs in a three-inning span, striking first with a three-spot in the second against Cal opener Aaron Roberts (1-1), who took the loss. After working a scoreless first inning, Roberts surrendered a leadoff home run to Ben Ramirez – his first of two long balls on the night – in the second. Sam Stoutenborough relieved Roberts after another two Trojans reached base with no outs, but gave up a pair of RBI singles to the first pair of batters he faced before escaping the inning.
By the time Ramirez hit his second home run of the game the following inning, it was a 5-0 contest.
Cal's lone run came in the bottom of the third when Nathan Manning, who led off with a walk, scored on an RBI groundout by John Lagattuta.
Stoutenborough pitched through the sixth, scattering seven hits while tossing a pair of scoreless frames to close his outing. Two of his three strikeouts came in a hitless sixth. Jack Wolger and Vaughn Mauterer combined to keep the Trojans quiet over the final three innings.
The Bears left 11 runners on base in the loss.
- Darren Baker (1-for-4) extended his reached-base streak to 29 games. He also swiped his 12th bag of the year.
- With another pair of scoreless innings pitched under his belt, Jack Wolger owns a 0.77 ERA in 11.2 frames of work this season.
- All five of Cal's hits were singles, coming off of the bats of Baker, Dylan Beavers, Hance Smith, Nathan Martorella and Keshawn Ogans.
- Beavers (1-for-3) reached base safely three times with a pair of walks.
Game two of the Pac-12 series gets started at 3 p.m. PT Friday. Grant Holman is expected to make his second start of the year on the mound.
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