Bears Rally, Knot Series
BERKELEY – Dylan Beavers went deep twice and Sean Sullivan struck out nine Ducks over six innings pitched as California earned a 10-3 series-tying win over No. 10 Oregon on Friday night at Evans Diamond.
Faced with their second early deficit in as many days, the Golden Bears (29-25, 15-14 Pac-12) rallied out of a 3-0 hole with 10 unanswered runs, powered by a six-run fifth inning. Beavers and Quentin Selma both smacked three-run home runs in the fifth-inning outburst and Beavers added his second of the game – a Pac-12-leading 18th of the season – in the next frame to put Cal in full control.
Oregon (36-14, 19-10) picked up where it left off Thursday and tagged Sean Sullivan with three runs on three hits in the top of the first. Cal got one back in the first when Beavers scored on a double play up the middle, and Sullivan settled in from there, allowing just two baserunners in the second through fourth innings. The Ducks had a chance to extend their 3-1 lead in the fifth when they loaded the bases with three outs, but Sullivan escaped the jam with two flyouts to center field.
With momentum breaking their way, the Bears claimed their first lead of the series with six runs on six consecutive hits in the home half of the fifth. A leadoff double by Nathan Manning was followed by a single through the left side from Jag Burden, who went 3-for-4 in the No. 9 spot. After an Oregon pitching change, Beavers promptly launched a go-ahead three-run home run to center field, giving Cal a 4-3 advantage. Singles from Nathan Martorella and Darren Baker set up Selma for his three-run blast.
Sullivan ended his strong performance with a 1-2-3 frame in the sixth. The right-hander struck out nine and scattered seven hits in the win.
Beavers drilled his second home run of the night off of the scoreboard in left-center to make it a 9-3 contest. Cal added one more run in the eighth when Martorella (3-for-4) came home on a fielder's choice play. Sam Stoutenborough and Ian Villers combined for three scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit to the Ducks.
- Cal can clinch its third consecutive series win against a ranked opponent with a victory on Saturday.
- The Bears have slugged 18 home runs in their past nine games.
- Darren Baker (2-for-5) tallied his 200th career hit with a single through the right side in the sixth inning. Baker is the first Bear to reach the 200-hit milestone since Andrew Vaughn did so in 2019.
- With his 18th home run, Dylan Beavers moved into a five-way tie for the seventh-most home runs in a season in program history, joining Jerry Goff (1986), Kevin Maas (1986), Dan Cholowsky (1991) and Josh Satin (2008).
- A five-batter stretch of Cal's lineup – spots No. 9-4 – were a combined 12-for-22 offensively on Friday.
- Sean Sullivan's nine strikeouts were one shy of a career high. He's struck out seven-plus batters in five starts this season.
Cal and Oregon wrap up their regular season slates with a rubber match at 12 p.m. PDT Saturday. The game, originally scheduled for 1 p.m., was moved up one hour to accommodate Oregon's return to Eugene. Grant Holman will get the ball for Cal.
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