Cal Loses One-Run Affair
CORVALLIS, Ore. – California entered the seventh inning with a lead for the second time in as many days, but came up short in a 2-1 loss to Oregon State Saturday afternoon at Goss Stadium.
The Golden Bears (18-15, 5-6 Pac-12) dropped their second consecutive conference series with the road loss. Sean Sullivan was sharp on the mound for Cal, out-dueling OSU starter Cooper Hjerpe with six scoreless frames before getting into trouble in the seventh when the Beavers (23-10, 9-5) scored twice to come from behind and take a 2-1 lead that would stand.
Sullivan (2-3) had a small margin for error throughout the afternoon as Cal's bats managed one run on three hits and reached base just four times. The junior right-hander allowed eight hits – five through the first six frames – and struck out five Beavers while issuing two walks. With Cal in front 1-0, OSU opened the bottom of the seventh with three straight hits off of Sullivan, capped by an RBI single from Ryan Ober. The hit scored one run before Ober got into a rundown between first and second base, allowing Jacob Melton to score the go-ahead run from third.
The lead change ended Sullivan's day on a sour note and gave way to the Cal bullpen. Jack Wolger and Aaron Roberts stranded an inherited runner in the seventh before Ian Villers tossed a hitless eighth inning in relief.
Cal's lone run came off the bat of Nathan Manning, who singled home Darren Baker with two outs in the top of the sixth. Baker reached base in the prior at bat, doubling down the left-field line. The Bears came up empty-handed in their final 10 plate appearances of the contest.
- Darren Baker (2-for-4) and Nathan Manning (1-for-4) extended their respective reached-base streaks to 38 and 18 games. Baker recorded two of Cal's three hits in the contest, singling and doubling in consecutive at bats.
- With his start at first base, Hance Smith has started in five different positions this season (C, 1B, 3B, RF, DH).
- Sean Sullivan tossed six-plus innings for the fourth time this season. He's allowed three runs or less in all four performances.
Cal's weekend in Corvallis concludes at 12:05 p.m. (PDT) Sunday at Goss Stadium.
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