Midweek Loss At Stanford
STANFORD, California – California had its opportunities but could not come up with the timely hits it needed in a narrow 4-3 non-conference loss to Stanford at Sunken Diamond Tuesday night.
The Golden Bears (16-11) left 12 total runners on base, including five at third base, throughout an evening that saw a combined 15 pitchers used by the two rival squads. The constant shuffle on the mound kept both lineups off balance; Cal and Stanford (17-5) were 2-for-14 and 0-for-9 at the plate with runners in scoring position, respectively.
Cal's seven pitchers were effective, tossing 11 strikeouts to just two walks while scattering six hits, but the Cardinal did just enough offensively to pull through. Stanford scored three of its four runs on two swings of the bat – Christian Robinson's two-run home run in the fourth against Ian Villers and Brock Jones' solo shot in the fifth off of Jack Wolger – but were otherwise stifled by Cal's committee of arms.
Nick Proctor, making his first career start on the hill, struck out three across three scoreless frames. He retired nine of 11 batters and left the game with a scoreless tie. Villers (0-1), who took the loss, was the first Bear out of the bullpen, lasting just one-third of the fourth inning.
Robinson's two-run long ball provided the game's first scoring in the fourth and Stanford made it a 3-0 contest with a sacrifice fly in the same frame. Cal got one back the next half inning on an RBI single by Darren Baker, only to see Stanford stretch its lead back to three with Jones' home run in the bottom of the fifth.
Cal loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh on a single by Keshawn Ogans and consecutive walks issued to Baker and Nathan Manning. An RBI groundout to the right side by Dylan Beavers and an infield single by John Lagattuta cut Cal's deficit to one, 4-3. The Bears could not push the tying run across, however, despite Manning being on third base for three straight at-bats before the inning concluded.
Cole Elvis drew a leadoff walk in the top of the eighth and eventually reached third base as well, but was stranded. Despite a gritty effort on the mound by King – he struck out three batters over the final 1.1 frames – Cal could not extend the contest.
- The non-conference contest was the first of five games scheduled between Cal and Stanford this season. The two rivals will meet again on May 14-17 for a three-game Pac-12 series in Berkeley, followed by another non-conference contest in Stanford.
- Three of Cal's seven pitchers had at least two strikeouts and zero walks issued.
- Darren Baker (2-for-4) reached safely three times and extended his reached-base streak to 32 games.
- Steven Zobac was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and one run scored. It was his first multi-hit game since March 19.
- Hance Smith made his first start at third base since 2019 after Quentin Selma (back) was a late scratch from the lineup.
Cal's stretch of eight consecutive road games continues with a Pac-12 series at Arizona this weekend. The action starts Friday in Tucson.
For coverage of Cal baseball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalBaseball), Instagram (@CalBaseball) and Facebook (/CalBaseball/).