Five In A Row
BERKELEY – Keshawn Ogans fueled a four-run third inning with a towering home run and California defeated Arizona State, 7-2, in a Pac-12 series opener Friday night at Evans Diamond.
With its fifth straight win, Cal (24-19, 10-9) pulled itself into a tie for sixth place in the Pac-12 standings with the Sun Devils (25-15, 10-9). Josh White worked 5.2 scoreless innings for the win in his second start of the season and a trio of Golden Bear relievers held ASU's bats in check the rest of the way.
After Cal went down in order in the first two frames, Ogans sparked the third inning by depositing a solo home run onto the Recreational Sports Facility roof past the left-field wall, and added a replay-worthy bat flip. The Bears fed off of Ogans' moment as the next five batters reached base, including an RBI single from Cole Elvis and an RBI triple by Dylan Beavers in consecutive at bats. Cal led 4-0 by the end of the inning.
Although White (4-1) wasn't his sharpest – the sophomore right-hander walked four batters – he held ASU to just one hit in his final 11 batters faced before turning it over to Jack Wolger with two outs in the top of the sixth and a 4-0 advantage. Wolger ended the sixth with a groundout.
Cal added a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Ogans and an RBI single from Steven Zobac. Cal's No. 7-9 batters – Ogans, Zobac and Elvis – were a combined 6-for-10 with four RBI, three runs and two extra-base hits in Friday's win.
The Sun Devils pushed two runs across on a double by Sean McLain in the top of the seventh, but Ian Villers quelled any momentum shift with an inning-ending strikeout. Villers fanned two more ASU batters and Nathan Manning added a web-gem catch in center field in the eighth before Zobac came on to toss a hitless ninth for the victory.
Cal's final run came in the seventh when Quentin Selma scored from second base on an ASU fielding error.
- Cal defeated the Sun Devils for the fifth time in the past six games played in Berkeley.
- The Bears are 4-2 against Arizona State under Mike Neu since 2018.
- Keshawn Ogans has homered twice in his past six at bats after tallying just one long ball in the first 157 at bats of his career.
- Darren Baker stole two bags and is 24-for-28 this season. He's stolen eight bases in the past five games.
- Ian Villers struck out a career-high four batters in 2.0 scoreless innings. He hasn't been credited with an earned run in his previous 11 appearances and 14.1 innings pitched.
- In addition to tossing a scoreless ninth inning after starting in left field, Steven Zobac set a career high with three hits (3-for-4).
Game two of the weekend series against Arizona State starts at 3 p.m. PDT Saturday at Evans Diamond.
For coverage of Cal baseball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalBaseball), Instagram (@CalBaseball) and Facebook (/CalBaseball/).