Cal Sweeps MLB4 Tournament
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Cole Elvis smacked a go-ahead three-run home run in the fifth inning as California rallied to defeat San Diego State 6-3 on Sunday afternoon and earn a weekend sweep of the MLB4 Tournament field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
The Golden Bears had to rally for a third consecutive game as they improved to 3-0, marking their best start to a season since 2013. Cal faced a 2-0 deficit after the first inning before plating one run in the second and using a four-run fifth frame to jump ahead for good.
Joseph King bounced back from allowing a two-run home run to SDSU's Brian Leonhardt in the first frame, retiring 14 of the last 16 batters he faced before leaving the contest with Cal in front, 5-3. The junior right-hander – making his third career start and first as a true weekend starter – struck out six Aztecs (1-2) and allowed three runs on four hits and one walk en route to earning the win on the mound.
Cal cut SDSU's early lead in half with an RBI single by Hance Smith in the bottom of the second. The Bears fully shifted momentum with a four-hit, four-run fifth inning, capped by Elvis' go-ahead three-run long ball to left-center field. Jag Burden reached on an error and Dylan Beavers singled to start the frame before Nathan Martorella plated Burden and knotted the score with a groundout to first base. Caleb Lomavita kept the inning rolling with a single ahead of Elvis' blast.
Connor Sullivan worked 2.1 innings of scoreless relief in his Cal debut before turning it over to Mitchell Scott in the ninth. Scott allowed a leadoff single before eventually working Leonhardt into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play – Cal's second in as many innings – to earn the save.
Elvis went 2-for-3 with three RBI and to cap a seven-hit weekend at the MLB4 Tournament. Carson Crawford had a two-hit day while Burden (1-for-4) drove in an insurance run with his eighth-inning double. Rodney Green Jr., the late-inning star of Cal's 7-6 walk-off win over No. 17 TCU on Saturday, earned his first career start in center field, but was 0-for-4 at the plate.
The Bears play once more in the Arizona sunshine before returning to Berkeley. They'll face Gonzaga at Sloan Park in Mesa at 12 p.m. (noon) PT on Monday. There will be no live stream available.
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