Also on Monday, sophomore Golden Bears third baseman Lucas Erceg was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week, after hitting three home runs this past weekend against Washington – including two eighth-inning jobs that provided the winning margins in twin 3-2 wins on Friday and Saturday. Overall, Erceg hit .353 for the week, with 6 RBIs. This weekend against the Huskies, Erceg went 6-for-13 with all of those 6 RBIs, scoring five runs, rattling out 5 extra-base hits – including two doubles and a two-run home run on Sunday.
Erceg becomes the second Cal hitter to win conference Player of the Week honors, after senior Chris Paul earned the honor last week. Paul went 6-for-10 that week with 4 runs, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs and 14 total bases. On March 9, junior outfielder Brian Celsi was named National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball.
Erceg also pulled down the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week honors for his weekend against Washington.
The Bears are off to their best Pac-12 start since the 2011 College World Series year, with a 5-1 record in conference play. Cal is also 18-5 overall.
Those notches on the Bears’ belt? Three wins against 2014 College World Series participant UC Irvine, an 11-1 win over Super Regional participant Stanford, 2 wins against regional participant Oregon and, after Sunday, three wins against regional participant Washington. The Bears have won five series in a row after dropping 2 of 3 games to Duke (now 18-6 on the season), and those last two series, they've won without their best pitcher in Daulton Jefferies.
Jefferies should be back this weekend, as the Bears travel to Salt Lake City to take on the 7-15 Utah Utes.