Souto Walks Off On Senior Day
BERKELEY – Dom Souto delivered a walk-off single on Senior Day as California rallied twice on the way to a 9-8 victory, its sixth in a row, and a series sweep of Utah at Stu Gordon Stadium on the final day of the regular season.
With the win and Arizona State's loss to Washington State, the Golden Bears secured the sixth seed in the inaugural Pac-12 baseball tournament, held on May 25-29 in Scottsdale, Arizona, and will face No. 3 UCLA in the first round. Cal finished the regular season at 28-25 overall and 14-16 in conference play with its sixth consecutive win.
After a pair of blowouts on Thursday and Friday – Cal outscored Utah 31-3 across the two wins – the Bears had to grind it out on Saturday, using a five-run third inning to overcome an early three-run deficit before scoring once in the seventh and again in the ninth to rally from an 8-7 deficit.
Keshawn Ogans led off the bottom of the ninth with a single up the middle and advanced into scoring position on a failed pickoff attempt with one out. Cole Elvis was intentionally walked to set up a double play situation, but Nathan Manning was able to beat out a fielder's choice play that allowed for Ogans to reach third base. Souto took the hero role from there, driving a single down the right-field line to bring home Ogans.
It was the second walk-off hit of Souto's storybook senior season; the third baseman hit a walk-off home run against Oregon State on March 26 in his first start of the year. Souto finished 1-for-4 on Saturday and ended the regular season tied with Stanford's Brett Barrera for the highest batting average in the Pac-12 (.372).
Utah (26-27-1, 10-20) jumped ahead 3-0 in the second on a two-run home run by Alex Baeza but the Bears struck back with five runs of their own in the home half of the inning, keyed by a go-ahead two-run single from Nathan Martorella.
With Cal leading 7-4, the Utes got one back with a bases-loaded walk in the sixth before regaining the lead with a three-run seventh; Davis Kopp's two-run home run to left field pushed Utah ahead 8-7. Vaughn Mauterer and Mitchell Scott (1-0) tossed one hitless inning apiece in the eighth and ninth frames, respectively, to set the stage for Cal's walk-off win.
The seven pitchers used by Cal struck out a combined 11 batters.
A three-hit day by Nathan Martorella (3-for-5) extended his hitting streak to 18 games, tied for the longest by a Bear since Lucas Erceg reached 18 in 2015. Green Jr. (3-for-4) had a three-hit day as well – all three hits went for extra-bases – and reached base safely four times. Though just 1-for-4 at the plate, Beavers drew his seventh walk of the series and 49th of the season in the first inning, moving him into a four-way tie with Jeff Ronk (1981), Rich Harger (1984) and Conor Jackson (2003) for the ninth-most by a Bear in a single season.
Sixth-seeded Cal will face No. 3 UCLA in the first round of the inaugural Pac-12 baseball tournament at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona. The two squads will clash on the night of Wednesday, May 25, approximately 45 minutes after the conclusion of game three between second-seeded Oregon State and seventh-seeded Washington.
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