Cal Poly Baseball dropped two of three in a conference series against CSU Bakersfield from Friday, April 14 through Sunday, April 16 at Hardt Field.
The Mustangs (11-21, 7-8 Big West) fell victim to a pair of walk-off wins by the Roadrunners (14-18, 5-10 Big West) after Cal Poly won game one.
Cal Poly got off to a strong start with a 12-4 rout of the Roadrunners.
Despite falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, the Mustang bats were on fire throughout the evening.
Senior left fielder Collin Villegas set a school record with four doubles in the game, while redshirt sophomore third baseman Ryan Fenn drove in three runs and junior shortstop Aaron Casillas added three hits.
Bakersfield jumped out to an early three-run advantage in the first thanks to a wild pitch, a double steal and an error from the Cal Poly defense.
The Mustangs responded on the offensive side in the second and fourth innings.
Fenn started it off with an RBI single and freshman outfielder Wyatt King hammered a solo homer to make it a 3-2 game in the second.
After stranding three runners in the third, Cal Poly drove in three runs in the fourth with RBI singles from junior outfielder Jake Steels and sophomore catcher Ryan Stafford.
In the following innings, the Mustang offense continued to make it look like batting practice against the Bakersfield pitching staff, adding on six more runs in the remaining five innings for a 12-4 win.
Junior right-hander Bryce Warrecker (3-2) threw five solid innings for the victory, giving up three earned runs on six hits while tallying six strikeouts.
Junior Derek True came in relief for three scoreless frames with five strikeouts while senior Carlo Lopiccolo finished off the game with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Overall, the Mustangs finished with 18 hits for the game and all nine starters in the lineup had at least one hit.
With the Mustangs and Roadrunners tied heading into the bottom of the 10th, the Mustangs needed to hold on for three more outs to extend the game.
However, a single to left field brought in a run and walked it off for the Roadrunners, giving them the second game of the series by a score of 5-4.
Bakersfield did their damage early with four runs in the first inning, but their bats went quiet for the following eight frames.
Steels got Cal Poly on the board in the fourth with a two-RBI single, cutting into the lead at 4-2.
In the eighth inning, Steels, who has the second-highest batting average on the team (.323), singled again to center field to bring in two more runs and tie it up at 4-4.
However, the Roadrunners ended the game in the bottom of the 10th inning to even up the series.
Steels finished 3-for-6 with four RBIs, while Stafford and Fenn each added a trio of base knocks.
Sunday’s matinee and series finale ended the same way as Saturday’s contest, with the Mustangs falling by a final of 4-3, thanks to a second straight walk-off from the Roadrunners.
Initially, it seemed as though Sunday’s game would be a complete 180 from Saturday’s heartbreaker, as it was the Mustangs who jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead.
After back-to-back base hits by Steels and Stafford led off the game, the Mustangs followed them up with a pair of one-out runs on another pair of hits, this time courtesy of an RBI double from Villegas and an RBI single by Casillas to give the Mustangs the 2-0 lead after one inning of play.
That would nearly be as much offense as the Mustangs could muster the rest of the afternoon, as they were held to just one run and four hits the rest of the way.
The Roadrunners, meanwhile, tied the game with a two-run inning of their own in the second, and would eventually take the 3-2 lead in their half of the fifth.
The Green and Gold weren’t quite done yet, however. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Fenn hustled out an RBI infield single to score Stafford from third and tie the game at 3-3.
That was where it would stay until the bottom of the ninth.
CSU Bakersfield opened the frame with back-to-back singles off of redshirt junior reliever Ryan Baum, which prompted head coach Larry Lee to turn to True, who promptly struck out the first batter he saw on three pitches.
That was all he was able to do. The very next at-bat, he hit a pinch hitter with his 0-2 pitch, loading the bases. One pitch later, the Roadrunners’ number nine hitter played heartbreaker, singling into center field and handing the Mustangs their second straight one-run, walk-off loss by a tally of 4-3.
Up next, Cal Poly will look to get back in the win column when they host non-conference foe San Jose State on Tuesday, April 18 at 5 p.m. inside Baggett Stadium.
Prior to the regularly scheduled game, at 4 p.m., the two teams will complete their suspended game from Feb. 20, with the Mustangs leading 11-10 going to the ninth inning.