Bears Rally To Take Road Series
PULLMAN, Wash. – California scored its first four of six unanswered runs in the seventh inning and rallied to a 7-4 series-clinching victory over Washington State on Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.
The Golden Bears pulled ahead for the first time when Caleb Lomavita scored on a passed ball with two outs in the seventh frame, making it 5-4. Cal entered the inning facing a 4-1 deficit before climbing into the lead with a sacrifice fly by Dom Souto – which scored Nathan Manning following a leadoff double – and four consecutive two-out singles by Dylan Beavers, Hance Smith, Lomavita and Cole Elvis, the latter two of which delivered Cal's third and fourth runs. Two innings later, Elvis landed the final blow with a two-run single and extended Cal's lead to 7-4.
The Bears (18-17, 9-9 Pac-12) got above .500 overall for the first time since March 20 and earned their second straight Pac-12 series victory. Cal has won three consecutive series in Pullman and improved to 8-4 against the Cougars (13-21, 5-13) under head coach Mike Neu.
Tucker Bougie (2-0) picked up his second win of the week with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. The freshman retired the final batter of the sixth inning and worked into the ninth before turning it over to Christian Becerra, who recording the last two outs to earn his first career save. Bougie struck out two while allowing two baserunners in the ninth via a walk and a single.
WSU struck first with two runs in the second inning against Cal starter Sam Stoutenborough. While WSU tallied three hits in the inning, a pair of defensive miscues by Cal in left field – a fielding error, followed by a misplayed fly ball – loomed large and aided the Cougars. The Bears punched back with a run of their own in the following half frame when Souto came home on a single by Nathan Martorella after leading off with a double down the left-field line, but an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded halted their momentum.
WSU tacked on its third run with another three-hit frame in the third. Stoutenborough settled in and retired nine straight Cougars across four innings, but a pair of doubles and WSU's fourth run ended his day in the sixth. The senior right-hander allowed all four WSU runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out a season-high six batters over 5.2 innings.
Souto's second double of the day knocked out WSU starting pitcher McKabe Cottrell in the top of the fifth but was left stranded as the Bears went down with a pair of flyouts and a swinging strikeout against reliever Cam Liss. Cal went hitless against Liss in seven consecutive at bats before Manning led off the critical seventh with a double that ricocheted off of first base into right field. The Cougars' Chase Grillo (1-1) was tagged with the final three of Cal's four runs in the seventh and took the loss.
Four Bears finished with two-hit efforts, led by Elvis (2-for-5), who drove in a team-high three RBI.
Cal returns home to host San Francisco on Tuesday night at Stu Gordon Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. PDT.
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