Cal Rallies To Midweek Win Over Pacific
BERKELEY – Jag Burden slugged his first career home run in a four-RBI effort and California used back-to-back four-run innings to rally from an early deficit and defeat Pacific, 9-8, on Tuesday night at Stu Gordon Stadium.
Burden's long ball was a three-run blast to right field that broke a 5-5 tie in the fifth inning. Hance Smith made it a 9-5 lead and capped Cal's second of two straight four-run innings with an RBI single down the left field line, which would prove crucial in the eventual one-run victory.
Pacific clawed back with two runs in the sixth and one in the ninth before Henrik Reinertsen slammed the door shut and earned his first save of the season in a storybook finish. After Tommy Hannan issued a bases-loaded walk to Pacific with two outs in ninth, Cal called upon Reinertsen – a graduate transfer who played the previous four seasons with the Tigers – to close it out against his former squad. The right-hander rose to the challenge, inducing a softly-hit ground ball to Keshawn Ogans who made a running throw for the final out.
Cal (20-20) picked up its 20th win of the season and got back to .500 overall after dropping two of three games to No. 13 UCLA last weekend.
Christian Becerra (2-0) earned the victory on the mound with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. The freshman inherited a bases-loaded, one-out scenario in the sixth with Cal leading 9-6 and was able to escape the jam with just one unearned run scoring on a defensive error at first base. Becerra allowed one hit in his 2.2 frames and lowered his earned run average to a team-leading 2.42.
Pacific (11-28), which has lost 10 straight games, jumped ahead in the opening frame with a three-run home run by Thomas Gavello. The Golden Bears did not get their first hit of the evening until the third inning when Nathan Martorella clobbered a solo home run – his eighth of the season, seventh in the month of April and fourth in as many games – beyond the right-field wall.
Martorella went 2-for-3 with two runs and two walks drawn in the victory.
Cal took its first lead of the game with a four-run fourth frame. Trailing 4-1, Cal's first four batters in the inning were walked, hit by a pitch, walked and hit by a pitch. Dom Souto delivered an RBI single through the left side in the following at bat to make it a 4-3 deficit. After Martorella lined into a double play and Dylan Beavers was intentionally walked to load the bases, Hance Smith beat out an infield single up the middle that allowed for Ogans to score from third base and Burden – who never slowed down as he rounded third base – to score from second.
The Tigers knotted it up with a solo home run in the fifth before Cal recorded its second four-run frame in the home half.
Cal has hit at least two home runs in five consecutive games and have totaled 13 in that span. Beavers drew a career-high four walks and stole a base while Smith (2-for-5) joined Burden (2-for-3) and Martorella as the lone Bears with multi-hit performances.
Cal travels north to face No. 25 (Baseball America) Oregon in Eugene this weekend. All three games will be streamed on Pac-12 Plus, with the opener starting at 6 p.m. PT Friday, April 29 at PK Park.
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