Cal Hosts Oregon, Wraps Regular Season
BERKELEY – Plenty is on the line for California later this week when it hosts No. 9/10 Oregon at Evans Diamond to close out the 2021 regular season. The Golden Bears (28-24, 14-13 Pac-12) are aiming for their third consecutive series win against a ranked opponent, a feat that would strengthen their case for earning an at-large bid to an NCAA Regional.
Cal is seventh in the Pac-12 standings and ranked 84th in the latest NCAA RPI rankings, which are part of the criteria for selecting the 64-team NCAA Regional field. The Bears have hit their stride at the right time, however, winning nine of their past 13 games – including five against teams ranked 35th or better in RPI – and have secured back-to-back series victories over then-No. 12 Stanford and then-No. 18 UCLA.
This week's action starts at 6 p.m. PDT Thursday, followed by another 6 p.m. first pitch Friday and the series finale at 12 p.m. Saturday. All three games will be televised on the Pac-12 Network with Guy Haberman on the call. Fans can also tune in via KALX 90.7 FM for games two and three.
EVANS DIAMOND ATTENDANCE
In accordance with public health guidelines, Cal Athletics is able to welcome a small number of student-athlete and coach guests to outdoor home events. Alameda County is in the state-designated Orange Tier (as of April 6), which limits facility capacity to a maximum of 33 percent. To meet these requirements, attendance will be limited to student-athlete and coach guest lists only. No tickets for general public use will be sold at athletic venues. Additional details on the state Blueprint for a Safer Economy can be found here.
- Matchup: Cal (28-24, 14-13 Pac-12) vs. #10 Oregon (35-13, 18-9 Pac-12)
- Location: Evans Diamond | Berkeley, Calif.
- First Pitch: Thursday, 6 p.m. PDT | Friday, 6 p.m. PDT | Saturday, 12 p.m. PDT
- Watch: Pac-12 Network
- Live Stats: CalBears.com
- Listen: KALX 90.7 FM (Games 2 & 3 only)
- Projected rotation: Thursday: RHP Josh White | Friday: RHP Sean Sullivan | Saturday: RHP Grant Holman
- Stakes are high on both sides of the series, as Oregon can clinch a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title with a sweep.
- The Bears won the most recent head-to-head meeting with Oregon in 2019. Cal is 3-3 against the Ducks under Mike Neu.
- Cal is 17-10 at Evans Diamond this season and has won six times on walk-offs, most recently May 15 against No. 12 Stanford.
- The long ball has played a big role in Cal's late-season surge toward a potential postseason berth, as the Bears have hit 24 dingers in the past 15 games, including eight multi-home run games. Cal is 22-10 when hitting a home run this season, but 6-14 when held without one.
- Josh White leads the Pac-12 in ERA (2.04) and is among leaders in strikeouts per nine innings (12.09) and WHIP (1.10).
- Cal relief duo Ian Villers and Mitchell Scott have been nearly untouchable down the stretch. Villers is 4-0 with a 0.93 ERA, .225 average against and 22 strikeouts in his previous 19.1 innings pitched and 17 appearances. Scott has thrown 11.1 hitless innings across his past nine appearances, striking out 14 batters in that span.
- Darren Baker, Cal's do-it-all senior, has reached base in 56 of 57 games dating back to 2020, ranks among Pac-12 leaders in hits (69) and stolen bases (27) and is the only NCAA Division I player with 150-plus defensive assists and a fielding percentage of .987 or better.
- Cole Elvis was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday after batting .529 (9-for-17) with seven RBI and four extra-base hits throughout Cal's recent four-game week against Stanford and UCLA.