Bears Win Series At No. 25 USC
LOS ANGELES – An impressive pitching performance by freshman Ian May and a trio of relievers led California to a 3-2 series-clinching win at No. 25 USC on Sunday afternoon at Dedeaux Field.
In his first collegiate start, May earned the win and allowed just two runs – both on a home run in the third inning – on two hits and struck out three Trojans in 5.2 innings of work. Fellow freshman Christian Becerra, Chris Stamos and Nick Proctor backed May up with 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. The four Golden Bear pitchers allowed four total hits to USC in the pivotal series finale.
Cal (10-9, 3-3 Pac-12) pulled even in conference play with its first series victory at USC since 2014. The Bears have now won consecutive series against USC for the first time since 2014-15; Cal took two of three games in last year's series in Berkeley.
Proctor got a game-ending double play for the second time in as many days to earn his first save of the season. Stamos was equally impressive with his work in the eighth as he recorded a swinging strikeout and a groundout to third base, leaving the tying run stranded in scoring position.
Cole Elvis delivered the game's biggest hit with a go-ahead two-run single up the middle to score Carson Crawford and Nathan Martorella in the fifth. Trailing 2-1 after USC's (12-5, 3-3) home run two innings prior, Cal put its first two runners on base in the sixth as Crawford walked and Martorella singled through the left side. Elvis came through two at bats later with a two-out single.
Earlier in the second inning, Keshawn Ogans' seventh hit of the series – a double in the right-center field gap – plated Rodney Green Jr. from first base to give Cal the first run of the game. Ogans (2-for-4) finished the weekend with eight hits.
The Bears improved to 6-5 against nationally-ranked opponents this season.
The Bears host Cal Poly at 3 p.m. PDT on Tuesday at Stu Gordon Stadium. The contest will be streamed on Pac-12 Plus.
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