Inside-the-park homer helps Cal to late-night win over UCLA at Pac-12 Tournament
After a four-plus-hour game before them, California and UCLA played into the early Thursday morning hours for their opener at the inaugural Pac-12 Baseball Tournament. It was the Golden Bears outlasting the Bruins for the 4-1 win, thanks in part to strong pitching from Josh White in his first start since April 1 and a bomb from Dylan Beavers.
White struck out eight batters across seven scoreless innings. Beavers and Rodney Green Jr. each homered in consecutive frames as the 6-seed Golden Bears (29-25) upset the Bruins (35-21) for their seventh win in a row.
Cal scored all four of its runs in a three-inning span between the third and fifth. After two scoreless innings from both squads, Beavers (2-for-4) put the Bears on the scoreboard in dramatic fashion with an inside-the-park home run off the center-field wall. He crossed home plate standing up after the ball ricocheted off the wall past UCLA center fielder Carson Yates.
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Green Jr. supplied a solo shot to right field in the following inning to make it a 2-0 Cal advantage. An RBI single by Caleb Lomavita (1-for-4) and a sacrifice fly from Keshawn Ogans (3-for-3) capped a two-run, three-hit fifth inning that stretched the Bears’ lead to 4-0.
White held the Bruins to 3-for-15 with runners on base. Cal turned to Joseph King for the eighth and ninth innings and the junior delivered, holding UCLA to just one run on two hits in his first relief appearance of the season.
The Bears totaled 11 hits on the night. Nathan Martorella went 1-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 19 straight games, tying Mark Canha for the longest streak by a Bear since at least 2009. Beavers scored twice, moving him into a tie with Chris Clapinski for the eighth-most runs scored by a Bear in a single season (62).
UCLA will face Washington Thursday night in an elimination game, with first pitch set for roughly 45 minutes after Stanford-Arizona (4:45 p.m. PT). Cal will battle Oregon State on the winner’s side of the bracket.