With the Saint Mary’s matchup postponed due to poor weather conditions last week, Cal baseball was given an opportunity to focus fully on its Pac-12 opponent in Oregon State in an important three-game series.
A series sweep, or even taking two out of three games, would have seen the Bears sitting in the mix of the Pac-12 standings with every chance of turning the season around. Yet, the blue and gold came up with just one victory, placing them second to last in the conference with more difficult teams to face in the upcoming weeks.
Each game proved to be a narrow victory for the winning side.
In the series opener, Cal immediately jumped out to a two-run lead in the first inning, and added another run in the third to hold a 3-1 lead. However, the blue and gold failed to score for the rest of the game, and a four-run fourth guided the Beavers to a 5-3 win.
Peyton Schulze was a bright spot on the Cal team. The sophomore continued to swing a hot bat, hitting his third home run of the season along with an RBI single to provide the Bears with some much-needed offense. Yet, struggles on the pitching side, along with errors on the field, saw Oregon State tame Schulze’s damage.
Saturday’s game was the true return of junior Paulshawn Pasqualotto. Following a promising freshman season, his sophomore year was cut short due to injury, and questions arose regarding the pitcher’s performance and mindset heading into his third season.
“I’m just trying to be healthy, and do what I can (to) slowly build up throughout the season,” Pasqualotto said.
The junior pitched a season-high five innings, allowing just one hit and zero runs in a 2-1 victory against the Beavers in a much-needed win for the Bears. During the game, he retired eight straight batters, struck out two and added a win to his season record.
While Oregon State attempted to make a comeback late in the game, two-way player Tucker Bougie came in with runners on first and second during the bottom of the ninth and managed to seal the game for his first save.
The series finale saw a plethora of runners left on base, along with costly mistakes that gave the Beavers the win in the bottom of the ninth. Connor Sullivan pitched four solid innings, striking out six and allowing just one earned run in the third. A Dom Souto single in the fourth tied the game.
A ninth inning walk by Oregon State followed by two wild pitches from Cal allowed for the runner to score and walk off, 2-1.
Cal has struggled to get out of a major road-game slump, losing five out of its last six, while earning just two wins out of its last nine games. Overcoming a poor March is crucial to staying afloat in a difficult April, with conference series against Arizona State, Stanford and Oregon coming up.