Cal Evens Series with Walk-Off
BERKELEY, Calif. – Leading 4-3 headed to the bottom of the ninth, No. 12 Stanford (28-11, 13-7 Pac-12) was unable to hold off California (25-22, 11-12 Pac-12) as the Golden Bears scored twice to walk off with a 5-4 victory and even a three-game series from Evans Diamond on Saturday.
Facing closer Zach Grech, Nathan Martorella lined a leadoff double into left-center field before moving to third on a chopper that went for a single from Darren Baker. Reliever Tommy O'Rourke replaced Grech and induced a shallow pop fly to center for the first out. Baker swiped second as O'Rourke jumped ahead 0-2 on Steven Zobac on the ensuing play, drawing the infield in. Zobac delivered on the very next pitch, punching a two-RBI single back up the middle to plate the runs and hand Cal the victory.
Grech, who allowed the two hits and was charged with both runs, dropped to 4-5 with the loss. Sam Stoutenborough, who worked a scoreless ninth for Cal, was credited with the victory and moved to 1-2.
Stanford managed to get on the board first on Saturday, plating a run in the first and three more in the second to take an early 4-2 lead. Two of the four Cardinal runs were unearned as Stanford took advantage of three early errors from the Golden Bears.
Prior to the walk-off two-RBI single, all of California's damage in the series had been done via the home run. Quentin Selma went 2 for 4 with a two-run homer in the first inning, briefly handing Cal a 2-1 lead. The round-tripper was his 10th of the season. Martorella, who went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and one RBI, also homered – connecting for a solo shot in the sixth to cut the deficit to 4-3.
The come-from-behind victory spoiled a terrific start from junior Alex Williams. The right-hander allowed just three runs on five hits with three strikeouts over seven innings of work in the no decision. Freshman Joey Dixon contributed a 1-2-3 eighth inning to bridge the gap to the ninth, but California would not surrender the series.
Offensively, Stanford received 2 for 3 days from Nick Brueser and Adam Crampton.
The Cardinal and Golden Bears will decide the series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.