The taste of defeat is strong in the mouths of the Bears. From its recent run of disappointing results, including a dropped series against Oregon State and a loss to Saint Mary’s, Cal has been looking worse for wear.
After losing the first game to No. 6 Oregon State 4-10, the Bears bounced back in the second with a walk-off win. Senior catcher Dom Souto went up to bat with the game tied 7-7 — he sent a bomb to left field, sending Evans Diamond into raptures. Souto jogged around the bases and was mobbed at home plate by his celebrating teammates to sign off the Bears’ win.
Following its impressive Saturday performance, Cal played its last game of the series Sunday, looking to pull off a massive series upset against the No. 6 Beavers. After six innings, the Bears held a 6-5 advantage, threatening to run away with the game. But Cal’s bullpen could not keep up with the Oregon State batters, allowing the Beavers to pull off a late surge to win the game 9-13 and take the series.
After coming within an inch of victory against Oregon State, the Bears’ disappointment was compounded with a home loss to Saint Mary’s. After opening the first four innings with a 5-2 lead, Cal’s bats ran ice cold. The Bears tallied just one hit in the final five innings, scoring zero runs, as the Gaels tied the game and eventually took the lead. Saint Mary’s won the contest 10-5.
As Cal’s topsy-turvy season continues, all eyes are now on Arizona State and Cal Poly. Cal will first travel to Tempe to face off against the Sun Devils in a three-game conference series.
The two teams come into the series with a relatively even pedigree — Cal is 11-13 on the season and Arizona State sits at 11-15. But the Bears’ quality of opposition this season, along with their success against top-ranked opponents, is superior to that of the Sun Devils: The Bears are 7-7 against ranked opposition, while ASU is just 1-4 in contests against top-25 teams.
But if its recent losses to Saint Mary’s, Cal Poly and Santa Clara are any indication, Cal is utterly incapable of translating its ability to fiercely compete against the nation’s top teams into consistent wins against unranked opponents.
After its series against Arizona State, the blue and gold will return to Evans Diamond to face off in a rematch against Cal Poly. The Mustangs won the teams’ first contest 14-4 March 22. Brooks Lee, ranked No. 1 on MLB.com’s list of college draft prospects, inevitably got in on the action with a two-run homer.
Cal will be out for revenge against the Mustangs when they face off Tuesday, April 5.
The weekend series against Arizona State will be available to livestream on ASU Live Stream, and the Tuesday game will be shown on Cal Live Stream-2.