Cal 3, UW 2

Dylan Nelson got Alex Schmidt to ground out with two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth inning to record his second straight save as California beat Washington 3-2 in the second game of a three game Pac-12 series at Husky Ballpark on a sunny but breezy Saturday afternoon.

617 fans also saw Lucas Erceg hit a game winning home run for the second straight game as the Bears (17-5, 4-1 Pac-12) dealt the Huskies (13-9, 1-4) their third loss in a row.

Erceg's fifth homer of the season, a two out opposite field shot into the left field bullpen on a 2-0 count, broke a 2-2 tie and overshadowed the second career complete game by Tyler Davis(4-2). Davis finished with three runs allowed, all earned, on six hits and one walk while striking out six. With the complete game Davis moved past Jeff Carlsen (1998-2001) into second place on the all time Washington list for innings pitched with 291 and 2/3, trailing only the 342 of Tim Lincecum (2004-2006).

Trailing 3-2 going into the last of the ninth, Alex Schick retired the first two Huskies on a swinging strikeout and a grounder to short, but then walked Braden Bishop and Branden Berry to put the potential tying and winning runs on base. Into the game came Nelson, who retired Schmidt to close his fourth save of the season.

The Huskies had their chances to put runs on the board right away in the bottom of the first inning against starter Ryan Mason. They had the bases loaded on singles by Jack Meggs, Bishop, and Berry, but Mason struck out Schmidt swinging and got Chris Baker to ground out to first to end the inning.

The home team did, however, draw first blood on the scoreboard, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Meggs led off with an infield single, took second on a sacrifice by Bishop, moved to third on an infield single by Berry, and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Schmidt.

Meanwhile, Davis began the game in terrific fashion on the mound, breezing through three perfect innings while throwing only 22 pitches, 20 for strikes. Chris Paul, the Bears' leadoff batter, brought that all to a sudden end in the top of the fourth. He took three balls, a called strike, and then fouled off two more pitches before taking Davis deep over the wall in left center field between the flagpoles for his fifth homer of the season and a 1 all tie. The Bears went up 2-1 when, after a strikeout, Erceg got hit by a pitch, took second on a single by Brett Cumberland, and scored on a two out line single to right center by Mitchell Kranson.

That score would last until the bottom of the fifth, when the Huskies tied the game at 2. Berry reached on a fielder's choice, took second on a ground out to the pitcher, and scored on a double into the left field corner by Baker.

The Huskies still had a chance to rally n the bottom of the ninth thanks to a pair of defensive gems in the top of the frame. Brian Celsi drove a pitch towards left center that looked like it would drop for extra bases but Bishop raced towards the wall and made an unbelievable diving catch for one big out. Two batters later, Max Dutto hot a sinking line drive into left center that looked like a sure single and maybe more for the Bears but Kyle London made a terrific diving catch to end the inning.

The Huskies and Bears return to Husky Ballpark on Sunday afternoon for the series finale at 1 p.m. Joshua Fredendall will start for the Huskies while Matt Ladrech takes the mound for the Bears.


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