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BERKELEY, Calif. –
Austin Booker’s walk-off single clinched the series for No. 20 California as the Bears recovered from an early four-run deficit to defeat Oregon 5-4 on Sunday afternoon at Evans Diamond.
The Ducks (22-20, 5-10) had a four-run lead after two innings but couldn't hold on as Cal (26-14, 11-7) scored four runs in the final three innings to combat a solid outing by UO starter Alex Keudell
Marcus Semien was 0-for-3 before approaching the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but the shortstop drove a one-out double down the left field line off reliever Scott McGough
McGough retired Friday’s hero, Michael Theofanopoulos to left, but surrendered a two–out single through the left side to Booker for the left fielder’s second run driven in of the day.
After chasing Cal starter Dixon Anderson back to the dugout in the top of the second, Cal reliever Kevin Miller shut out Oregon for six and 2/3 innings, allowing five hits while striking out five.
Matt Flemer (2-2) was credited with the win after holding the Ducks scoreless in the top of the ninth. Oregon had an opportunity to score as Marder reached on a lead off error, but Aaron Payne
bunted into a double play on the attempted sacrifice.
In the top of the eighth Cal got the tying run across the plate with Christian Jones
on the mound in relief of Keudell. Tony Renda’s leadoff single paid off as he scored the game-tying run on an error. Renda was sacrificed to second and then Chadd Krist drove a ball up the middle that deflected off Jones on the ound. Danny Pulfer
was able to corral the ball at second, but his throw to first was offline allowing Renda to score the game-tying run from third.
Jones allowed one unearned run on two hits in 2/3 of an inning.
The Bears closed within one run, 4-3, in the bottom of the seventh scoring two runs as Mitch Delfino led things off with a bunt single followed by Vince Bruno’s single to left. Bruno was retired on Semien’s fielder’s choice bunt, as Cal had runners on the corners with one out.
Louie Lechich then drove a high chopper over the head of Ryon Healy
at first, but the rookie made a great play to retire Lecchich unassisted as Delfino scored on the RBI ground out. Booker then drove a RBI single up the middle on a 2-2 count to plate Semien as he scored the Bears’ third run. Booker was caught trying to take second to end the inning.
Keudell, who was denied a well-deserved win, held Cal to three runs on eight hits without issuing a walk, while dealing three strikeouts. It marked Keudell’s fifth quality start of the season.
Oregon took a three-run lead and batted around in the top of the first as Healy roped a two-run, two-out double down the right field line after Marder and Shawn Peterson
each singled earlier in the inning. Anderson went on to walk Piazzisi and KC Serna
to load the bases with two outs, before Brett Thomas
grounded a high chopper in front of the plate that hung in the air, allowing Healy to score from third as the speedy Thomas beat the throw from Krist.
Anderson had a short outing as Miller took over on the hill with runners on the corners and one out in the top of the second. Miller struck out Peterson, but once again Healy produced a two-out RBI as his single to center plated Pulfer to give the Ducks a 4-0 lead.
In his short start, Anderson allowed four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out two.
Keudell allowed just one hit through the first three innings, and facing the minimum after the Ducks turned a double play.
Cal was able to touch Keudell in the fourth on two doubles as Danny Oh drove a one-out double to right center. Rodriguez then switched places with Oh with a two-out RBI double to right center as the Bears scored their first run of the contest.
Krist, Booker and Rodriguez led Cal with two hits apiece, while Thomas and Peterson each had two hits in addition to Healy’s 3-for-4, three RBI performance.
The Ducks return to the diamond on Tuesday with a 5:30 p.m. first pitch from Goss Stadium in a non-conference game against third-ranked Oregon State.
Oregon will then return to PK Park to host No. 24 UCLA for a three-game series beginning with a 5 p.m. first pitch on Friday.
Oregon is 19-5 on the season when scoring at least four runs…Marcus Piazzisi
made his first start since March 11 vs. BYU…Healy’s three hits matched a season high while his three runs driven in are a new career best…Oregon has now recorded at least 10 hits in 14 games and has a 9-5 record in those contests… Danny Pulfer
has reached safely in 28 consecutive games and has recorded hits in 25 of those contests… the Ducks are 4-10 in one-run games and all three games of the series were decided by one run.