The California Golden Bears completed their second sweep of the season, defeating the Long Beach State Dirtbags 13-5 in the final game of their three-game series Sunday afternoon.
Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘only three things in life are certain; death, taxes, and Andrew Vaughn making plays.’
Center fielder Cameron Eden got on base early, and Vaughn batted him in for the quick strike 1-0 lead. Vaughn’s ball was so close to leaving the park, the left fielder had to shy away from the fence causing him to lose track of the ball in the air.
Just before the first inning ended, shortstop Sam Wezniak got ahold of the Long Beach pitchers breaking ball and took it over left field fence for his second home run of the season. The three-run shot put Cal up 4-0 in a blink.
The Dirtbags responded with their own attempt at scoring runs in the next inning.
Pitcher Arman Sabouri got himself into a hole with just one out, allowing the bases to get loaded with two singles and a walk. But like Batman at the climax of The Dark Knight Rises, he climbed out of that hole without any outside assistance.
Sabouri threw a three-pitch strikeout and baited one into hitting a ground out to first base on the next two batters like a machine without emotion.
Long Beach had prospects of scoring some runs to stay in the game but was outplayed by the junior Sabouri.
When he steps onto the mound to pitch for the Golden Bears, you can always expect a quality outcome, and Sunday’s results met the status quo.
Sabouri being a regular opener and not a starter, was only in for two full innings. He’s pitched 26 innings in 13 total games and leads the Bears with 34 strikeouts.
Quentin Selma and Hance Smith have been splitting starting duties at third base for much of the season, but after Selma’s performance in this series, he might have earned the starting job for good.
Selma hit his second home run of the series, season and career to put the Golden Bears up by two more runs, 6-0.
Speaking of home runs, Korey Lee launched a three-run moonshot over left field later in the inning to drive up the score like Andrew Carnegie drove up steel prices in the 1800s.
Long Beach methodically picked off Sabouri’s replacement, Rogelio Reyes, in the third inning to score their first run of the game. He makes most of his damage in the middle innings, filling in for pulled openers or starters.
Reyes pitched a beauty, allowing only one hit and striking out three. He found a nice rhythm midway through the fourth inning and painted the strike zone like Jean-François Millet, keeping it low and away and high and inside.
Reyes struck out four over five full innings to add to his season total of 28. He got his second win of the season as well.
In the bottom of the fifth, the bases were loaded, and Vaughn was up to bat. Typically, this is a situation where Cal fans will salivate at but, uncharacteristically Vaughn struck out looking.
“I probably should have competed a little more, I know it was a ball. The umpire kind of opened up his zone and I should have just competed a little more. But other than that we swung it and Korey came up next and hit a clean double,” Andrew Vaughn said.
That he did.
Lee came up to bat and showed LBSU that when you cut off the head, two more grow. He cleared the bases with a deep double to left field, putting Cal up 13-1. He picked up three more RBI’s to move into second on the Bears, with 23.
Vaughn followed by Lee in the lineup make a potent 1-2 punch, usually ending with one of the two scoring runs.
Lee’s consistency in the last three games helped lead Cal to a winning series. He hit a home run in all three games and collected at least two hits.
”Consistent just means doing whatever I can to make the team win. Just trying to put the team first and doing whatever I can to help win is the biggest thing that matters to me,” Korey Lee said.
Third Baseman Quentin Selma, center fielder Cameron Eden also lead the charge offensively in the series. Selma went 5-10 with two home runs, and five RBI’s. Eden stole second base twice and recorded five hits including a home run.
Cal’s total for the series was 39 hits, 30 runs and three wins.
Up Next: The Golden Bears(14-11) are back at home next weekend for another three-game series against Pac-12 opponent Washington State(6-20).
”We’ll bring it into Wazzu next series just to keep winning and keep the ball,” said Lee.