The Cal baseball team swept one of the best teams in the country in a three-game series this weekend as the No. 17 Golden Bears handed Oregon State its third, fourth and fifth losses of the season.
At Evans Diamond in Berkeley, Cal’s respective starter threw a complete game in each of Thursday and Friday’s games, and the No. 3 Beavers couldn’t generate any offense against a red-hot reliever in the series finale.
Daulton Jefferies improved to 6-0 in the opener by surrendering just two runs on four hits in a 6-2 Bears win.
Cal chased Beavers starter Drew Rasmussen after 3.1 innings by stringing together hits to plate five runs. Rasmussen threw a perfect game last season as a freshman.
Ryan Mason shut out the Beavers as his offense provided five runs.
Catcher Brett Cumberland went two-for-two with his seventh long ball of the young 2016 season. Teammate Mitchell Kranson slugged a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth.
Mason struck out seven.
Starter Jeff Bain was pulled after retiring just one batter in the finale. But, the Bears were able to recover on the strength of a pair of Cal relievers combining for eight innings in which OSU (16-5, 3-3 in Pac-12) failed to get a hit.
Matt Ladrech did most of the heavy lifting, throwing 7.2 innings in which he retired 21 of the 23 batters he faced.
The Bears (14-6, 4-2) took control of the game by answering the Beaver’s three-run first inning with a four-run second.
“We probably had the worst first inning of baseball there,” head coach David Esquer said, according to Cal athletics. “… I thought our guys did a great job of turning it around and showing up in the next eight innings. We are mentally tough; we have some toughness to us and we’re even a little tougher than I thought and I’m proud of the way they fought through it.”