The Cal Poly baseball team started its season with a four-game sweep of Pacific over the weekend. Cal Poly won its first three games of the weekend 6-2, 7-6 and 6-3 and finished the weekend with a 19-2 victory, improving its record to 4-0.
Sophomore pitcher Kyle Smith struck out six batters in the first two innings and notched nine total strikeouts throughout the first game. Smith pitched all nine innings, capturing Cal Poly’s first win of the season.
Smith’s only trouble came during the seventh inning when Pacific’s left fielder, Danny Mayer, drilled an RBI double followed by a sacrifice fly by second baseman Louis Mejia. Cal Poly responded with three unearned runs in the eighth inning, securing a 6-2 victory.
The Mustangs returned Saturday afternoon to play the second game of the four-game series. Cal Poly let leads of 3-0 and 4-1 slip by giving up five unanswered runs from Pacific.
The Mustangs faced a 6-4 deficit in the eighth inning, but strung together three walks with two outs. Sophomore left fielder Josh George slapped a two-run single past the infield and tied the game at 6-6.
Sophomore pitcher Jarred Zill finished the top of the 10th inning by securing two outs with runners on first and third. Freshman catcher Nick Meyers then hit a single through the right side, scoring fellow freshman Michael Sanderson from second base and winning the game for the Mustangs.
Later that day, junior pitcher Slater Lee took the mound for Cal Poly’s third game of the series. Lee, who is hoping to rebound from a rough sophomore campaign after a promising freshman season, notched eight strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
Lee gave up 10 hits during the game, but only three runs, all of which came in the eighth inning. Freshman pitcher Austin Dondanville ended the threat with two outs in the eighth and preserved the Mustangs’ 4-3 lead.
The Mustangs scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth with a triple from George and sacrifice bunt from Sanderson. Cal Poly finished the game with a two victories on the day, 7-6 and 6-3, despite being out hit in both games 16-9 and 17-9.
Cal Poly completed the four-game series with a dominant victory on Sunday, winning 19-2. The Mustangs scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to go up 15-0, and coasted from there until the finish line.
Freshman outfielder Alex McKenna was the Mustangs’ top hitter in the fourth game with five runs, two hits, two RBI and a home run. McKenna had 10 runs and two homers to his name throughout the weekend.
The Mustangs finished the game with four runs in the eighth inning, making the score 19-2.
George and junior catcher Brett Barbier both finished Sunday with three hits. Senior outfielder John Schuknecht and freshman second baseman Kyle Marinconz both tacked on two hits.
The Mustangs next compete against UCLA at home on Friday, Feb. 26. The first pitch will be tossed at around 6 p.m., marking the start of a three-game series with an extra game against Michigan thrown in on Saturday.