Max Flower’s walk-off single off a hanging slider to center field gave Cal a 1-0 victory on Tuesday evening over BYU baseball.
BYU’s pitching staff of Alex Perron, Rhett Parkinson, Blake Inouye, Bo Burrup and Jake Suddreth mixed and matched the Cougars to a scoreless tie through eight innings as Cal had its leadoff runner on base in six of nine innings.
Burrup recorded a huge strikeout by catching a Bear batter napping on a full count with runners on second and third to end the eighth.
Perron, who triangulated his transfer path to BYU via San Diego, Pepperdine and the College of Southern Idaho, was replaced by Parkinson in the sixth. Parkinson followed in Perron’s footsteps and struck out the Cal batter swinging with a full count.
The Bears’ hope in the eighth ended with a runner on third when a potential hit glanced off Parkinson’s foot, causing shortstop Daniel Schneemann to bobble it before throwing the Cal runner out in time.
Perron’s full-count strikeout helped BYU dodge a bullet as the Bears had advanced a runner to second base with no outs in the third.
Perron struck out the final two batters of the fourth to retire Cal in order, including the last Bear again swinging on a full count. He repeated the full count swinging strikeout to end Cal’s fifth, leaving a runner on third.
In that fifth frame, Matt Ruff doubled to right field, and Brock Hale relayed to Schneemann, whose throw home was on the first base side. Catcher David Clawson fielded the short hop and made a successful sweep tag for the out.
BYU had a couple of fruitless scoring opportunities. A one-out walk and singles by Clawson and Casey Jacobsen loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. However, Cal got out of the jam when its freshman pitcher struck out BYU freshman Mitch McIntyre.
Cougar Brennon Anderson stroked a one-out double off the left-field wall in the third and advanced to third base on a groundout where he was stranded.
Hale flew out to the right-field wall to lead off the fourth as the Cougars went down in order.
Cal improved its record to 25-17. The Cougars, now 19-20, return to play in the West Coast Conference as they start a three-game series at Saint Mary’s College on Thursday.