After an all too brief three-game winning streak, Northwestern baseball returned to its losing ways, dropping four straight to the California Golden Bears (29-18, 11-13 Pac 12), each in double-digit fashion.
After the series sweep, in which the ‘Cats were outscored by an inexplicable count of 59-5, NU falls to a mere 13-38 (5-13 B1G) and are losers of 20 of their last 26 contests.
Cal’s powerful lineup was simply too much for Wildcat pitching, as the Golden Bears spoiled Northwestern’s Senior Day with a 16-0 carnage on Friday.
The Bears were able to put at least one run on the board every single inning, with a plethora of crooked numbers. The offensive outburst was catalyzed by a pair of homeruns from sophomore backstop Brett Cumberland and senior designated hitter Devin Pearson, who both combined for seven of the team’s 13 runs batted in.
Senior Ryan Mason pitched a gem for Cal, hurling six dominant and scoreless frames with ten strikeouts – tallying his seventh win of the season. Overall, California pitchers held NU to a grand total of three hits on the day.
Sunday’s doubleheader was more of the same for the Wildcats, as Northwestern would go on to fall in two more blowouts 15-3 and 13-2.
In Game One, the ‘Cats managed to push across three runs on seven scattered singles, but it was not nearly enough to match another offensive explosion from California.
Starter Joe Schindler took the loss for NU after lasting only four and 1/3 innings on the mound, yielding three earned runs. Junior Cooper Wetherbee gave up seven more earned runs in four frames of relief.
In game two, Northwestern was held to two runs on five hits while the Golden Bears poured on both 13 hits and runs, highlighted by a seven-run eighth inning.
Brett Cumberland stayed hot for Cal, crushing his third homer of the series, while freshman Joey Matulovich tallied his first collegiate victory behind six solid innings of work.
In the final contest of the series, pitching was top notch once again for California as four Golden Bears, behind starter Alex Schick, suffocated the ‘Cats' bats and allowed five hits and zero runs scored in a 15-0 rout.
Northwestern’s Dan Kubiuk continued to struggle on the mound as another bad outing marked his sixth loss of the campaign.
As the 2016 campaign comes to a close, the Wildcats will head to Piscataway, New Jersey, on Thursday for one last weekend series against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers (25-26, 8-13 B1G).
NU must win at least two of their final three games to avoid tying their lowest end of season win total (14) since 2009.