SEATTLE – California pounded out 20 hits and beat Washington, 12-2, Sunday at Husky Ballpark to sweep the series and send the Huskies (13-10, 1-5 Pac-12) to their fourth-straight loss.
Six different players for the 24th-ranked Bears (18-5, 5-1) had multiple hits as they won for the 13th time in 15 games. The 20 hits that Cal amassed against six different pitchers were the most allowed by the Huskies this season.
Cal third baseman, Lucas Erceg, who hit game-winning home runs in the eighth inning on Friday and Saturday, was once again the offensive hero for the Bears. He was 3 for 6 on day with a home run, two doubles and four RBI.
Designated hitter Mitchell Kranson had four hits and two RBI for the Bears.
Erceg tagged Husky starter Spencer Jones for a two-run shot in the first inning to give Cal the early 2-0 advantage. The Bears' lead-off hitter Aaron Knapp started the game with a single, and was taking off towards second on a 0-1 pitch when Erceg connected for his sixth homer of the season. All three of his home runs in the series were go-ahead shots for the Bears.
Despite the early deficit and dropping the first two games of the series, Washington showed they had some fight left in their tanks in the first inning. Freshman second baseman Levi Jordan, making his first appearance in the lead-off spot, singled to start the inning. He eventually came around to score on first baseman Branden Berry's two-out single – the team-high 18th RBI of the season for Berry.
The Bears answered back in the second inning with another run to make it 3-1. Kranson led off the inning with a single, was sacrificed to second, and came around to score with two outs on a throwing error by Chris Baker. Baker's counterpart at short, Preston Grand Pre, legged out an infield single, and Kranson came around to score when Baker's throw sailed high over Berry's head at first base.
Jones (2-4), making the first start of his UW career in place of scheduled starter Josh Fredendall, went only the first two innings of the game. He allowed three runs, two earned, in his short start.
Cal added another run in the fourth to make it 4-1, but Washington answered in the bottom of the inning scoring an unearned run to cut the lead in half. Mitch Bevacqua reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and came around to score on a throwing error by Erceg. Nyles Nygaard hit a chopper down to third for a hit, but Erceg compounded the situation by throwing wildly to first allowing Bevacqua to score.
That was as close as the Huskies would get, as the Bears would score eight more runs. Cal broke the game open with four runs in the fifth and added on three in the seventh and one in the ninth.
Baker had two of Washington's nine hits. Baker has multi-hits in four-straight games and was 7 for 11 in the series versus Cal.
Washington will hit the road for two games in Spokane against Gonzaga, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Huskies then return home for a three-game set against the USC Trojans starting Friday at Husky Ballpark.
California 12, Washington 2
CAL 210 140 301 –- 12 20 2
WASH 100 100 000 –- 2 8 1
LOB: CAL 8, UW 9. Spencer Jones, Brandon Choate (3), Troy Rallings (5), Ryan Schmitten (7), Alex Nesbitt (8) and Joey Morgan, Zach Bonneau (8); Matt Ladrech, Jesse Kay (8), Collin Monsour (9), Erik Martinez (9) and Brett Cumberland. W – Ladrech (4-2). L – Jones (2-4). Sv – none. HR – CAL, Lucas Erceg (6), Brett Cumberland (4). 3B – none. 2B – CAL, Lucas Erceg (2), Brett Cumberland, Mitchell Kranson; UW, Chris Baker. Time – 2:43. Attendance – 523.