No. 11 Cardinal Takes Big Series Opener
STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford ace Alex Williams twirled a gem and nearly went the distance as California dropped a 6-2 loss in the opening game of the Big Series on Friday night at Sunken Diamond.
Williams held the Golden Bears (22-23, 11-14 Pac-12) in check over the first 8.1 innings of the fast-paced series opener – the Pac-12 contest lasted just two hours and 27 minutes – before turning it over to Quinn Mathews for the final two outs of the ninth. Caleb Lomavita drove in both Cal runs on a fielder's choice play in the first and an RBI single up the middle in the ninth.
Lomavita's ground ball up the middle that resulted in a fielder's choice play in the opening frame scored Nathan Martorella, who led off the game with a single and advanced into scoring position on a fielding error. Martorella finished the night 2-for-4 at the plate and extended his hit streak to 10 games with his eighth multi-hit effort in the past nine games.
The Cardinal (27-14, 13-9) tagged Cal starter Steven Zobac with all six of its runs, including five across the first three frames. A solo home run by Carter Graham tied the game at 1-1 in the home half of the first before an RBI double down the left-field line by Tommy Troy put Stanford up for good in the second inning. Kody Huff made it a 5-1 contest with a three-run home run in the third.
Zobac (2-3) struck out six batters and walked one over six innings pitched. Two of his six runs allowed were unearned, as a pair of defensive miscues in the outfield allowed Stanford to stretch two different singles into two-base efforts; the Cardinal capitalized on both errors with two-out hits in the second and fifth innings.
Mitchell Scott worked two scoreless innings in relief of Zobac.
Williams struck out seven Bears and did not issue a walk in his 8.1 innings.
Dylan Beavers extended his reached base streak to 20 games with a ninth-inning single. He was 1-for-4 in the loss.
The Big Series continues at 6 p.m. PT Saturday as Cal looks to draw even in the three-game set with junior right-hander Joseph King on the mound for his 12th start of the season. The contest will be televised on Pac-12 Network Bay Area.
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