BERKELEY, Calif. -- Purdue baseball scored first for the first time in the series but then proceeded to give up a big inning in the bottom of the first, losing the finale of the three-game set at No. 10 Cal 15-5 Sunday afternoon.
Cody Strong singled in each of his final four at-bats, recording his first collegiate four-hit game while batting leadoff for the second day in a row. Kyle Johnson delivered a two-out, two-run double over the left fielder's head in the first inning.
Starting pitcher Gavin Downs (0-1) was unable to record an out against any of the six batters he faced. A three-run homer and a pair of RBI doubles helped the Golden Bears (5-2) score eight times in the first inning after sending 12 men to the plate.
The Boilermakers (1-5) had a base runner in seven of the nine innings and did a much better job of putting the ball in play, striking out a season-low four times. But Purdue grounded into three double plays, all three of the twin killings coming after the Boilermakers had their leadoff man reach base safely in an inning.
Meanwhile, Cal scored in each of the first four innings, building a 12-2 lead in the process. The Golden Bears pounded out 19 hits Sunday.
A leadoff double from Justin Gubser led to a three-run rally for Purdue in the seventh inning. Strong singled home a run, Hayden Grant scored on a wild pitch and Mike Kornacker drove in a run with an RBI groundout.
Alex Lyons retired seven of the first eight batters he faced over 2 2/3 innings of one-hit relief. He worked a 1-2-3 frame vs. Cal's 3-4-5 hitters in the bottom of the fifth. Brian Ghiselli also put up a zero in the seventh inning in his season debut.
Brett Carlson threw out a runner at the plate from left field to end the bottom of the sixth.
The Boilermakers return to action Friday when they open a four-game series at first-time opponent East Tennessee State. First pitch in Johnson City is set for 6 p.m.