Bears Upended By San Francisco, 14-11
BERKELEY – Dylan Beavers and Hance Smith hit back-to-back home runs and California churned out 11 runs on 15 hits but never led in a 14-11 midweek loss to San Francisco on Tuesday night at Stu Gordon Stadium.
Though the Golden Bears steadily chipped away at an early 7-1 deficit after San Francisco put up six runs in the third inning, they could never pull even or take a lead. Cal (18-18) responded with at least one run of its own in each inning that the Dons (20-20) scored, but the six-run third and a four-run ninth proved to be enough to push USF to the win.
Both squads traded single runs in the opening frame when Luke Keaschall led off the game with a solo home run and Beavers scored one of his four runs on a double in the gap by Smith. Aaron Roberts tied a career-high four strikeouts as an opener but could not record an out in the third inning, walking two batters and surrendering the go-ahead run on a wild pitch before he was relieved by Mitchell Scott. The Dons tacked on two runs with a sacrifice fly and a fielder's choice play before a three-run home run from Brandon Greim made it 7-1.
Roberts (0-2) took the loss with four runs allowed on two hits and two walks.
Beavers and Smith went deep in consecutive at bats in the fifth inning to make it an 8-5 game, and became the first Bears to hit back-to-back home runs since Andrew Vaughn and Korey Lee did so at Utah on May 5, 2019. The Bears pulled within two, 8-6, in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk by Caleb Lomavita, but an opportunity was left on the table when Cole Elvis went down swinging with three runners left on; Cal stranded nine total runners throughout the contest.
The two teams continued to trade blows in the final two innings. After USF scored twice in the eighth on a pinch-hit single by Jordan Vujovich, Cal punched back and cut its deficit to one run, 10-9, on an RBI double by Beavers and two wild pitches that allowed both Martorella and Beavers to cross the plate. The wheels came off for Cal in the ninth when it aided a four-run USF inning with two hit batters, three wild pitches and a throwing error. Cal scored twice in its last chance at the plate before ultimately coming up short.
Connor Sullivan (three innings) and Christian Becerra (1.1) logged the middle 4.1 innings of the contest, allowing one run on two hits while striking out three Dons. Nine different Cal pitchers saw action on the mound Tuesday.
Beavers (2-for-4) moved back into sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 home run race with his 12th of the season. The long ball also moved him into a tie with David Cooper (2007-08) for the eighth most in school history (31). It was the third time Beavers has scored four runs this season; the junior is now tied for the conference lead with 46 total.
Both Smith (3-for-5) and Dom Souto (3-for-5) had three-hit games. Cal tallied six extra-base hits as a team.
Cal's five-game homestand continues this weekend against No. 13 UCLA. The two Pac-12 foes open the series at 6 p.m. PDT Friday.
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