The Cal Poly baseball team picked up its first series win of the 2017 season after winning 5-4 in 13 innings Friday night and 3-0 Saturday night against visiting Wichita State. But the Mustangs (7-12) weren’t able to sweep the Shockers (11-8) and lost 2-0 Sunday afternoon.
The Mustangs got off to a strong start against the Shockers as junior left fielder Josh George hit a sacrifice fly to score sophomore center fielder Alex McKenna in the bottom of the first to give Cal Poly an early 1-0 lead. The Shockers answered with a run of their own in the top of the third as Alec Bohm hit a RBI grounder to score Travis Young.
Junior pitcher Erich Uelmen improved on the mound from there and held the Shockers scoreless until the seventh inning. He notched 10 strikeouts before coming out in the seventh inning.
As Uelmen controlled the game from the mound, junior first baseman Elijah Skipps made a play in the fourth inning. Skipps singled to center field to score sophomore shortstop Kyle Marinconz as the Mustangs opened up the scoring. Junior right fielder Colby Barrick later doubled down left field to plate Skipps and senior third baseman Michael Sanderson, giving the Mustangs a 4-1 lead after four frames.
The game remained at 4-1 until the top of the seventh when Uelmen gave up a double to the Shockers’ Greyson Jenista that made it a 4-2 contest. Uelmen came out after the seventh inning and the Mustangs rotated through another three pitchers as Wichita State fought back to tie the game in the top of the eighth inning.
But after four scoreless innings, Marinconz blasted a triple to left-center field to score sophomore catcher Nick Meyer in the bottom of the 13th inning and give the Mustangs their first walkoff win of the season.
Sophomore right-hander Michael Clark was the fifth and final pitcher used by the Mustangs and he picked up his second win of the season after holding the Shockers scoreless in the top of the 13th.
After winning in extra time Friday night at Baggett Stadium, the Mustangs used a strong performance from their bullpen to clinch the series in a 3-0 win Saturday night.
Sophomore pitcher Spencer Howard earned his first win of the year on the mound, striking out 11 and giving up only three hits to the Shockers. Howard, Clark and junior southpaw Trent Shelton combined to hold Wichita State to just four hits on 31 at bats.
With Howard striking out almost half of the 25 batters he faced over the first seven innings, the Mustangs jumped out to an early lead and maintained it from there.
Meyer hit a sacrifice bunt to bring home McKenna and Marinconz tripled to right center field to plate freshman second baseman Bradlee Beesley as the Mustangs went up 2-0 in the first inning.
From there, the offense stayed relatively quiet until the bottom of the eighth when George hit a sacrifice fly to score McKenna and give the Mustangs their winning margin of 3-0.
The two victories made it four in a row for Cal Poly, adding on to the wins earlier in the week against LMU and Gonzaga, and gave the team its first series win of the year.
With the series clinched after the win Saturday night, the Mustangs couldn’t overcome a four of 29 performance from the plate and lost to the Shockers 2-0 Sunday afternoon at Baggett Stadium.
Barrick went two for three, freshman designated hitter Scott Ogrin went one for two and Meyer went one for four as the only Mustangs to notch a hit that day. Sophomore right-hander Cam Schneider managed five strikeouts from the mound but gave up five hits and two runs, not enough to compensate from the lack of production from the plate.
The Mustangs continue their home stand with a four-game slate against Nebraska starting Thursday at 6 p.m.