Cal Poly Baseball fell 9-2 to Pepperdine in their 2020 home opener Tuesday, Feb. 19 inside Baggett Stadium. Despite coming off a historic game where the Mustangs took down defending national champions Vanderbilt, Cal Poly produced just four hits and two walks against the Waves.
“I think we just came out a little flat today,” senior catcher Myles Emmerson said. “We’re kind of on our high horse since beating Vanderbilt, but I think it humbled us a little bit, we’re ready to move forward.”
Freshman pitcher Derek True made his Cal Poly debut on the mound and turned in two scoreless innings before the Waves gained offensive momentum. Pepperdine opened the scoring with three hits and two runs in the top of the third inning. The Waves extended their lead in the following inning with two runs off two hits and a Cal Poly fielding error. In the top of the fifth, Pepperdine took a 5-0 lead with another three hits and one run.
Two of the Waves runs were unearned due to an overthrow by junior third baseman Tate Samuelson.
Emmerson and Greene came to True’s defense after the freshman’s first start fell short.
“[True] has a chance to be really good and obviously he’s a freshman is his first start, probably had some nerves, but I’m not worried about it,” Emmerson said. “He’s going to be really good for us and he’ll pitch meaningful games for us here.”
“[Pepperdine] just put good swings on good pitches,” Greene said.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, junior right fielder Elijah Greene and Emmerson both hit singles off Pepperdine pitcher Gunnar Groen. A wild pitch past the plate brought Greene in to cut the Mustangs’ deficit to 5-1. After senior center fielder Bradlee Beesley was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning, Samuelson singled down the right field line to bring the score to 5-2.
However, the three-run deficit was the closest Cal Poly would come as the Mustangs were held to just one hit in the last three innings.
“[Pepperdine were] just making good, quality pitches and we kind of got ourselves out as well,” Greene said.
Pepperdine first baseman Justin Lutes was a constant source of offense for the Waves as he drove in four runs total through a double, a sac fly, and a two-run home run.
Cal Poly will return to action for a four-game series against BYU Feb. 20-23 inside Baggett Stadium.