Cal Drops Series Opener
BERKELEY – California's three home runs weren't enough firepower to match No. 10 Oregon on Friday night, as the Golden Bears fell behind early in an 11-5 series-opening loss at Evans Diamond.
The visiting Ducks (36-13, 19-9 Pac-12) capitalized on an off night by Cal starter Josh White and raced out to a 6-1 advantage by the fourth inning before adding five more runs across the final three frames. Cal (28-25, 14-14 Pac-12) got home runs from Dylan Beavers, Quentin Selma and Keshawn Ogans in the first and sixth innings, but struggled to manufacture enough offensive momentum in between to come out on top.
Oregon's win keeps its Pac-12 title hopes alive – the Ducks can clinch a share of the title with a sweep this weekend – while the Bears now likely need to win two games in a row to keep their chances of a postseason at-large berth within striking distance.
White (5-3) surrendered six runs, all earned, on six hits, five walks and three hit batters across four innings pitched. The Ducks were able to tag the Cal starter – and Pac-12 ERA leader heading into Friday's contest – with two home runs before he handed it to the bullpen with a 6-1 deficit.
Trailing 2-0, Beavers roped a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first to get Cal on the board. The Bears tallied two more hits in the frame, but came away with just the one run off of Beavers' long ball. Oregon starter Robert Ahlstrom settled in from there, holding Cal to two hits between the second and fifth innings before Cal got to him in the sixth with another pair of home runs by Selma and Ogans.
Ogans' two run-shot down the left-field line brought Cal within two, 6-4, but the Ducks fought back with a two-run home run of their own the following inning to extend their lead to four. In similar fashion, Darren Baker singled home Nathan Martorella in the bottom of the seventh to make it an 8-5 contest, only to see Oregon get the run back in the top of the eighth. The Ducks scored twice in the top of the ninth to finish it off.
- Dylan Beavers is tied for the Pac-12 lead in home runs after hitting his 16th of the season. Quentin Selma remains close behind, as he slugged his 13th of the year, bringing him into a tie for fourth in the conference.
- Cal used seven pitchers in the loss, including Nick Proctor, who was first out of the bullpen and struck out a pair over two innings.
- Darren Baker's seventh-inning RBI single brought him within two hits of 200 for his career. He was 1-for-4 with a stolen base.
- Nathan Martorella (2-for-4) was the lone Bear with a multi-hit performance.
Cal will look to even the series in game two at 6 p.m. PDT Friday. The Pac-12 Networks will carry the action.
For coverage of Cal baseball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalBaseball), Instagram (@CalBaseball) and Facebook (/CalBaseball/).