Bears Drop Game Two Against Cougars
BERKELEY – California scored twice late but largely could not challenge Washington State starting pitcher Zane Mills, who tossed a complete game and led the Cougars to a series-tying 4-2 win Saturday at Evans Diamond.
One day after staging an eighth-inning rally that led to a 3-2 win, the Golden Bears' two-run eighth inning Saturday was too little too late. Cal dropped to 19-18 (6-8 Pac-12) while the visiting Cougars improved to 18-15 (6-11 Pac-12).
Facing a four-run deficit in the bottom of the eighth, Cal (19-18, 6-8 Pac-12) cut the Cougars' lead in half with an RBI double off of the left-center field wall by Cole Elvis and an RBI single up the middle from Darren Baker. The Bears put the tying run in scoring position with a sacrifice bunt by Nathan Manning the following at bat, but the threat was quelled when Quentin Selma grounded out to second base.
Cal's first hit of the game did not come until the fifth inning when Nathan Martorella singled up the middle. Although they ended up with six hits, including a pair of doubles, the Bears struck out 10 times against Mills, who needed just 109 pitches to record his first career complete game.
Sean Sullivan (2-4) took the loss despite keeping Cal within striking distance across 5.2 innings pitched. Cal's junior right-hander was tagged with 11 hits against but avoided serious trouble, allowing just three runs, only one of which was earned. WSU struck first with one run in the second frame before adding a pair of unearned runs in the fourth. A Cal fielding error up the middle with two outs in the inning gave new life to the Cougars, who tallied a pair of run-scoring hits in the two at bats following the miscue.
Four Cal relievers ate up the final 3.1 innings, allowing one run on three total hits.
- Darren Baker's eighth-inning RBI single not only cut WSU's lead in half, but extended his reached-base streak to 42 games.
- Reuben Drogin tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and struck out a pair. He has nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings this season.
- Nathan Manning (2-for-3) posted his second consecutive multi-hit game.
Sunday's rubber match is slated to start at 6 p.m. PDT at Evans Diamond. The game was originally scheduled to start at 12 p.m. (noon) but was pushed back due to expected inclement weather. Pac-12 Network will not televise the game.
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