Friday Night Shutout
BERKELEY – Steven Zobac twirled a seven-inning, 12-strikeout gem and California homered four times in a thorough 11-0 shutout victory over New Mexico on Friday night at Stu Gordon Stadium.
The Golden Bears set the tone from the start as Zobac struck out the side in the first inning before Nathan Martorella and Dylan Beavers led off the home half of the same frame with back-to-back home runs. Cal improved to 23-25 overall and snapped a three-game skid with the series-opening win.
Zobac (3-3) struck out at least two Lobos in four different innings and needed just 90 pitches to work through seven scoreless frames. The junior right-hander allowed just four baserunners on three hits and one walk while his career-high 12 strikeouts were the most by a Cal pitcher in a single game since Ryan Mason struck out 12 vs. Duke on Feb. 15, 2015.
The junior right-hander's night ended with an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the seventh. Nick Proctor and Chris Stamos took over from that point; both relivers struck out one Lobo in one scoreless inning apiece. The trio held New Mexico (19-29) to just four hits on the night.
Hance Smith (2-for-4) sparked a six-run third inning with one of the Bears' six hits in the frame, a solo home run to left-center field that was his ninth of the season. Four RBI singles by Keshawn Ogans, Rodney Green Jr., Jack Johnston – who earned his third career start as the designated hitter – and Martorella extended Cal's lead to 8-0 by the end of the third.
Two more runs in the fifth followed by a pinch-hit solo home run from Trevor Tishenkel in the seventh pushed the advantage to double digits.
Martorella extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a 2-for-5, three-RBI effort. His long ball was his 10th of the season and fifth leadoff home run this season. Beavers' blast was the 16th of his season and 35th of his career; despite a 1-for-5 night at the plate, Beavers extended his reached base streak to 23 consecutive games.
The Bears' one walk issued to New Mexico marked the sixth time they've allowed one walk or less this season.
Cal will try to secure the series victory in game two against New Mexico at 3 p.m. PT Saturday.
For coverage of Cal baseball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalBaseball), Instagram (@CalBaseball) and Facebook (/CalBaseball/).