Cal baseball bounces back, secures resilient 1st victory in Long Beach

Isabella Ko/Staff

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The old adage stands true for Cal baseball — third time’s the charm.

The Bears hung tough with the Dirtbags for a three-game set in Long Beach and despite dropping the first two outings, they captured a hard-fought victory to close the first series of their 2020 campaign with promise.

Cal notched 11 hits before the seventh inning stretch Sunday to force a 4-4 tie into the latter half of the inning, but LBSU roped three straight hits off of freshman pitcher Steven Zobac with two outs to rally into a 5-4 advantage.

Zobac, however, soon earned his first career win.

Junior second baseman Darren Baker dropped a successful bunt, after which the middle of the Cal lineup capitalized. Freshman first baseman Nathan Martorella smoked a double to the left-field wall and scored 2 after an error sent him to third and all but cleared the bases.

With the blue and gold back on top 6-5, junior third baseman Quentin Selma juiced an RBI single to extend the Bears lead to 2, to which they held on for their first win of the season after sophomore righty Mitchell Scott logged a save.

This win emphasized a promising offensive improvement for the Bears following their 4-0, 3-hit defeat Saturday. Friday’s 3-2 extra-inning loss, however, was as well-fought as Sunday’s triumph.

The blue and gold look to carry Sunday’s momentum to Santa Barbara on President’s Day as they face the Gauchos and complete their opening road trip.

Ethan Waters is a deputy sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ewate1.