TUCSON, AZ - California's pitching staff tossed a combined shutout and Devin Pearson's two-run double in the fourth inning propelled the visiting Golden Bears to a 4-0 victory over host Arizona before a crowd of 4,037 on Saturday evening at Hi Corbett Field.
Ryan Mason (W, 5-2) scattered eight hits and a walk over eight complete innings. Reliever Alex Schick polished off the shut out with a scoreless ninth inning, blanking the Wildcats for the first time this season.
California (25-14, 12-8 Pac-12) seized control with a two-run fourth inning and added a pair of runs in the fifth inning to all but lock up the series-clinching win.
Arizona starter Nathan Bannister (L, 6-2) had retired seven in a row before Chris Paul opened the fourth with a single. Mitchell Kranson followed with a hit-and-run double down the left field line that left two in scoring position for Pearson, who pulled a double inside the third base line to plate both runners.'
An inning later, Paul turned in a run-scoring single and Brett Cumberland drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to put the visitors in front by four runs.
Mason was dominant much of the evening. He limited the Wildcats to a 1-for-12 clip with runners on base, and gave the home club only five at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The one scoring threat for Arizona was thwarted with an excellent defensive play to end the fourth. After JJ Matijevic hit a two-out double, Jared Oliva single to left field, where Pearson fielded and threw a strike to cut down Matijevic trying to score.
The lackluster offensive performance spoiled a gritty outing for Bannister, who nearly went the distance. The righty allowed only the four runs in 8.2 innings, with five strike outs.
Arizona (24-16, 9-11) will try to snap a three-game losing streak in the series finale set for Sunday at noon.
GAME NOTES: Arizona has tallied an extra base hit in 29-consecutive games … It was nearly one year ago to the day when the Wildcats were last shutout: April 26, 2014, vs. Arizona State (7-0) … Bobby Dalbec saw his season-opening 39-game streak for reaching base snapped … Nathan Bannister's 8.2 innings on the mound set a new career high … Bannister's seventh-inning walk snapped a string of 27-consecutive innings without a walk issued by Wildcat pitchers … Arizona has dropped six consecutive home games for the first time since 1998 … Scott Kingery reached base safely for his 16th-straight start.