"We were very intense today," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "The demeanor from the coaches down to the last player, we had a little attitude going today."
The day was one of firsts for the Razorbacks (9-2). It was the first time this season Arkansas scored more than 10 runs in a game and Brett Eibner hit the team's first grand slam of the year in the sixth.
"It's good to be able to do this against a team like Cal," Eibner said. "They've got a good offense and great pitching - it's almost like playing another SEC team."
Eibner said Saturday's loss to the Golden Bears (8-4) gave the team a sense of urgency.
"Today was about winning on Sunday and getting things going," Eibner said. "We were 1-1 and we needed to take this series."
Van Horn said it was good for the team to get roughed up Saturday - a 12-6 Cal win.
"I went up to their staff today before batting practice and told them we never want to lose, but hopefully that whipping we took will open our team's eyes," Van Horn said. "It made us a better team.
"That's the team we can be. Our guys needed to see that and feel that, and hopefully that will propel us."
Van Horn was especially pleased with Arkansas' bats. The Razorbacks recorded season-highs in runs and hits (12), and Arkansas hitting coach Todd Butler said the team did its best job hitting with two strikes in the count.
"We have worked every day on two-strike line drives and bunting," Butler said. "Our fans have seen us handle the bat very well with the bunt. We're trying to keep the ball out of the air and compete with two strikes.
"I like this club. They keep working and keep believing in what we're trying to get. As time develops the improvement, hopefully we'll see it."
The biggest offensive star of the weekend was Chase Leavitt. The California native went for 4-for-5 in Sunday's win with five RBIs and a walk. For the weekend, Leavitt reached base in 14-of-17 plate appearances.
"He never waivers whether he goes 0-for-4 or 4-for-4 - he's the same guy," Butler said. "He seems to respond after a game if he doesn't have a good game and this weekend he was outstanding."
Leavitt said while the personal success was nice, it felt better to get the team a win.
"I had a good day yesterday, but there was something missing and that was because we lost," Leavitt said. "So any time I can have a good day and mainly help the team out and win - that means a lot."
The offense wasn't the only improved aspect of Arkansas' game Sunday. The defense, which had committed three errors in each of the first two games of the series, committed just one.
"We always take pride in playing defense - playing good defense," Arkansas second baseman Ben Tschepikow said. "We always work our butts off and it pays off. You can win the game and you can lose that game on defense.
"When you don't give them five or six outs in an inning, it makes a huge difference."
Arkansas' pitching had its best game of the weekend. Starter Drew Smyly got a no decision, going 4.2 innings while allowing two runs on three hits.
Mike Bolsinger, pitching in just his second game back from mononucleosis, picked up the win with 4.1 innings of work, giving up just one run on three hits while striking out eight.
The duo combined to strike out 11 batters on the afternoon, marking the fifth consecutive game Arkansas pitching recorded double-digit strikeouts.
"We were trying to get Bolsinger's pitch count up a little," said Van Horn, who was worried about the right-hander's stamina. "We wanted to get him in shape and ready for next weekend because he might start. We stretched him out and he gave us an opportunity to do that by pitching well."
The Hogs will return to the diamond Tuesday for the team's first road trip at Centenary before hosting Florida Friday in the SEC opener.