Cal hands No. 10 Arizona State first Pac-12 series defeat with 8-6 win
BERKELEY, Calif. -- In yet another dramatic finish in front of an impressive crowd of 1,728 fans, Cal scored four runs with two outs in the eighth inning, highlighted by sophomore center fielder Aaron Knapp’s two-run triple, to give the Golden Bears an 8-6 victory against No. 10 Arizona State on Sunday afternoon at Evans Diamond.
With the win, David Esquer’s squad is now 29-15 overall and 15-9 in the Pac-12. ASU, which lost its first Pac-12 series of the year, fell to 29-15 and 14-7 in league.
Knapp’s RBI single had given Cal a 5-4 win Saturday night after the Bears had lost to the Sun Devils 5-3 on Friday. In Sunday’s contest, Brian Celsi started the rally in the eighth with a two-out single, followed by Nick Halamandaris’ pinch-hit RBI single off ASU’s Darin Gillies. Knapp then scored two runs with his triple down the right field line and Devin Pearson added the fourth run with an RBI single to right center field.
Pearson had another spectacular day versus ASU, going 2-for-4 with a homer in the fifth inning. Knapp and sophomore third baseman/pitcher Lucas Erceg also had two hits apiece with two RBIs, and Celsi was 3-for-4. Senior closer Dylan Nelson ended up earning the win in relief, while Erceg earned his first save of the year pitching the top of the ninth with no hits and a strikeout.