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Late Inning Heroics Allow Bears To Even The Series

March 23, 2024
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BERKELEY – For the second game Utah scored a run late and had plenty of opportunities to score more. Still, it was the California baseball team that came out on top, 3-1, on a cloudy rainy Saturday afternoon thanks to a 2-run home run in the eighth by freshman shortstop PJ Moutzouridis.

Moutzouridis strolled up to the plate having already hit a triple and a double before blasting a 3-2 offering from relief pitcher Randon Hostert (3-2) over the fence in left-center field. Howling winds blowing in from the San Francisco Bay were wreaking havoc on fly balls, but Moutzouridis kept his under the wind and over the fence for his fourth home run of the year. He finished the day 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI and finished a single shy of the cycle. Alec Ritch started the rally by drawing a four-pitch walk.

Cal (14-6, 5-3 Pac-12) scored the game’s opening run for the second consecutive day when Moutzouridis led off the bottom of the first with a triple to center field. The ball died at the feet of center fielder Kai Roberts and rolled past him allowing Moutzouridis to sprint to third. He came around to score on the productive out from Rodney Green Jr. Later that inning Peyton Schulze hit a double to right center but was stranded at second.

Neither offense managed much in the middle innings. Utah (15-7, 4-4) starter Bryson Van Sickle retired 14 in a row before surrendering a double to Moutzouridis in the sixth. Van Sickle went 7.0 complete, scattering five hits and one run, with no walks and three strikeouts.

Cal stater Trey Newmann had his best outing at home. He matched Van Sickle zero for zero, tossing 5.0 complete, allowing four hits, with two walks.

The Utes tied the game up in the top of the sixth inning without the ball leaving the infield. The trouble began for reliever Tucker Bougie when he opened the inning by hitting Tyler Quinn on a 3-2 pitch. A fielder’s choice and a base hit through the right side by Kaden Carpenter had runners at the corners for Utah. A bunt single by Hunter Antillon allowed the tying run to score from third. Bougie escaped the jam thanks to an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play – the first of two crucial double players turned on the day by the Bears.

Relief pitcher Tyler Stasiowski (2-0) earned the win for the Bears. He entered the game in the top of the seventh with a runner on and no outs and calmly ended the inning. He pitched the final two frames with little drama, scattering two hits and a walk with a strikeout.

The loss went to Hostert who did not record an out in the eighth, allowing two runs on a walk and a two-run home run to Moutzouridis before being lifted for Jackson Elder who retired the side.  

Jarren Advincula went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. He is the first Cal player to have a 10-game hitting streak since Nathan Martorella had a 19-game hitting streak in late 2022.

The rubber match is tomorrow at 1:05 p.m.

Related:

Bears Light Up Scoreboard Against Dons

Late Inning Heroics Allow Bears To Even The Series

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