Bears Falter Late Against Beavers
CORVALLIS, Ore. – California owned a four-run advantage through six and a half innings played, but surrendered 11 unanswered runs to Oregon State in a 15-8 series-opening loss Friday night at Goss Stadium.
With Cal (18-14, 5-5 Pac-12) leading, 8-4, the host Beavers scored four times in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie it before taking the lead, and then extending it, with a seven-run eighth. Steven Zobac took the loss on the mound after giving up six runs in relief, despite inheriting a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the seventh when he entered from right field.
Just an inning prior to OSU's (22-10, 8-5) rally, the Golden Bears looked primed to snatch a rare road win in Corvallis as they battled back from an early deficit. Trailing, 4-3, Cal drew even and took its first lead when Keshawn Ogans was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Darren Baker grounded out to the right side, plating Zobac for the go-ahead run. Nathan Manning then smacked his first career home run – a three-run shot – into the right-field bleachers to make it an 8-4 game.
Cal's resurgence put Grant Holman in line for a win after tossing five gritty innings against the Beavers. Holman allowed four runs on 10 hits, eight of which were singles, but struck out seven batters and issued just one walk to keep Cal within striking distance. With the lead in hand, Cal went to bullpen for Jack Wolger, who threw a hitless sixth frame.
The Beavers' four-run seventh inning was sparked by three consecutive hits against Cal reliever Nick Proctor, who did not record an out before he was replaced by Zobac. OSU scored twice on a wild pitch and a ground ball back to the mound before a two-run triple by Jacob Melton evened the score, 8-8. With Zobac still pitching, OSU's first three batters in the eighth also reached, including Troy Claunch, who singled in the go-ahead run. OSU's big inning was capped with a grand slam by Ryan Ober, making it a 15-8 contest.
The late-inning misfortunes were unfamiliar to a Cal squad that entered Friday's contest with an 11-1 record when leading after six innings.
- The 15 runs and 19 hits allowed Friday were a season-high for Cal's pitching staff.
- Grant Holman tied a career-high seven strikeouts Friday. He tallied five of the seven strikeouts in the first two innings.
- With his 2-for-4 effort, Nathan Manning tallied his seventh multi-hit game and extended his hit streak to eight games and reached-base streak to 17 games. He's now batting .468 for the season, which continues to lead the Pac-12.
- Darren Baker drew an eighth-inning walk to extend his reached-base streak to 37 games. He also swiped his 15th bag of the year.
- Dylan Beavers (2-for-4) snapped out of a cold spell with his first multi-hit game since March 28. He drove in two runs with a single to left field in the fifth inning.
- John Lagattuta (2-for-5) notched his second consecutive two-hit game, and his third multi-hit performance in the past five contests.
Game two of the weekend series in Corvallis gets started at 1:35 p.m. (PDT) Saturday.
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