BERKELEY, Calif. – Washington scored twice in the seventh and once in both the eighth and ninth innings to break open a 2-2 tie and win 6-2 over host California Friday evening at Evans Diamond in Berkeley, Calif.
The win ensures the Huskies will take their first series at California since 2004 and gives them their sixth Pac-12 series victory in six tries. Washington, ranked sixth in College Baseball News and seventh by Baseball America, improves to 14-3 in Pac-12 play and now holds a two-game advantage in the Conference over idle Oregon State.
The Huskies (27-7-1), who improved to 11-1 on the road this season, will go for their first series sweep at Cal (15-19, 4-10) since 2002 on Saturday.
There were many heroes for the Huskies on Friday night, but Erik Forgione drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh and tacked on an insurance run with his legs in the ninth.
The Huskies scored twice with two outs in the seventh to break a 2-2 tie and grab the lead for good. Ryan Wiggins led off the inning with a double and pinch-runner Matt Jackson advanced to third on an Austin Rei sacrifice bunt. After pinch-hitter Brendan Berry struck out, Forgione delivered a run-scoring single. Forgione stole second ahead of a RBI double by Braden Bishop to make it 4-2.
UW increased its lead to 5-2 in the eighth on a bases-loaded walk to Rei before closing it out in the ninth with a final insurance run. Forgione led off with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and stole third. He scored on a shallow sacrifice fly by Jack Meggs to put the game away, 6-2.
Forgione ended the night 2-for-3 with a double, RBI, two runs and two stolen bases.
Emerging staff ace Tyler Davis (8-1) handed the game over to the bullpen after laboring through six innings. He allowed a season-high nine hits, but for the eighth time in nine starts he gave up two runs or less.
Davis’ is now tied for the Pac-12 lead with eight wins.
Trevor Dunlap went the final three innings, allowing one hit, to earn a well-deserved sixth save of the season.
Washington jumped ahead of Cal in the fourth with two runs. Andrew Ely walked to lead off the inning and Robert Pehl and Trevor Mitsui singled to load the bases with nobody out. With the Pac-12’s leading hitter Brian Wolfe up to bat, starting pitcher Kyle Porter (4-4) uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Ely to score.
Porter settled down to strike out Wolfe and Wiggins, but then gave up a two-out RBI single up the middle to Rei that scored Pehl and made it 2-0.
Cal responded in the bottom of the inning to get one run back and tied it up in the fifth with another run. Vince Bruno drove in a run off Davis with a RBI single in the fourth and the Bears took advantage of three consecutive hits with two outs in the fifth to tie the score at 2-2.
The Bears ended up outhitting the Huskies, 10-9.
Besides Forgione, Mitsui was the only other Huskies’ batter with two hits.
The Huskies send Jeff Brigham (4-1, 2.12) to the hill against Cal righy Ryan Mason (2-0, 2.62) in the series finale tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
#7 Washington 6, California 2
WASH 000 200 211 –- 6 9 1
CAL 000 110 000 –- 2 10 0
Tyler Davis, Trevor Dunlap (7) and Austin Rei. Kyle Porter, Andrew Buckley (8) and Mitchell Kranson. W – Davis (8-1). L – Porter (4-4). Sv – Dunlap (5). HR – none. 3B – none. 2B – UW, Erik Forgione, Ryan Wiggins, Braden Bishop. Time – 2:46. Attendance – 682.