Bears Look To Stay Hot Against Sun Devils
BERKELEY – California rides a four-game win streak into this weekend's pivotal Pac-12 series against Arizona State, starting with a 6 p.m. PDT opener Friday at Evans Diamond. Much is at stake with less than a month left in the 2021 regular season and Cal in need of a late push toward the postseason.
The Golden Bears (23-19, 9-9 Pac-12) got back to .500 in conference play with a road sweep at Washington last weekend and sit in seventh place in the Pac-12 standings, right behind Arizona State (25-14, 10-8). This weekend's clash with ASU is the first of four critical series to be played this month; Cal also hosts No. 16 Stanford (May 14-16) and No. 11 Oregon (May 27-29) while traveling to No. 25 UCLA (May 21-23).
- Matchup: Cal (23-19, 9-9 Pac-12) vs. Arizona State (25-14, 10-8 Pac-12)
- Location: Evans Diamond | Berkeley, California
- First Pitch: Friday, 6 p.m. PDT | Saturday, 3 p.m. PDT | Sunday, 1 p.m. PDT
- Watch: Cal Live Stream
- Live Stats: CalBears.com
- Projected rotation: Friday: RHP Josh White | Saturday: RHP Sean Sullivan | Sunday: RHP Grant Holman
- Cal's four-game win streak is tied for its longest this season. The Bears swept Washington on April 30-May 2 and defeated San Jose State in a rollercoaster 18-10 win Tuesday. Trailing 9-0, Cal used an 11-run fifth inning to rally past the Spartans in the midweek clash.
- Arizona State leads the all-time series by a wide margin (121-68), but Cal is 7-3 in the past 10 head-to-head meetings. The two squads most recently split two games in Berkeley in 2019 while Cal won two of three in the 2018 series in Tempe.
- Five of Cal's 14 wins at home this season have been walk-offs.
- Prior to allowing 10 runs to San Jose State Tuesday, Cal's pitching staff had limited opponents to an average of 2.2 earned runs per game dating back to April 17. Cal has held opponents to three runs or less in nine of its past 11 wins.
- Dylan Beavers has homered in three consecutive games and continues to lead the Pac-12 with 13.
- After hitting just four home runs over an 11-game span from April 6-24, Cal's bats have exploded for 11 long balls in the past five games. They've homered at least once in all five games, including a season-high four home runs vs. San Jose State Tuesday.
- Cal averages just 3.40 walks allowed per nine innings, ranking third in the Pac-12. The Bears have allowed more than four walks just three times in 18 Pac-12 games this season.
- During Cal's four-game win streak, Darren Baker is batting .625 (10-for-16) with six stolen bases, four runs, three RBI and two doubles. With 13 regular-season games remaining, Baker needs just 15 hits to reach 200 for his career.
- After a successful shuffle of the weekend rotation at Washington, Cal will stick with it against ASU. Josh White (3-1, 1.77 ERA, .204 average against) will get the ball Friday for his second start of the year and fourth in his career, followed by Sullivan (11 starts this season) on Saturday and staff ace Grant Holman (2.36 ERA, .227 average against) on Sunday.