The weekend of Jan. 15, Cal Poly Baseball was on the losing end of a three-game series against Baylor at Baylor Ballpark. Despite winning Saturday’s match 3-1, the Mustangs’ losses on Friday and Sunday granted the Bears the series advantage. Baylor, who were ranked as high as No.12 earlier this season, improved their record at 13-5. The Mustangs, coming off a four-game sweep against Columbia, fell to 7-11.

Friday

The Mustangs were held to just two hits as Baylor defeated Cal Poly 3-0 in the opening game of the series. The shut out was Cal Poly’s second of the season and came after a 17-hit performance against Pepperdine on March 12.

Cal Poly’s first of two hits came in the first inning with a bunt from sophomore outfielder Elijah Greene. However, the game stayed scoreless as the Mustangs left a runner on base in both the first and second innings. In the bottom of the fourth, back-to-back doubles by Baylor’s Shea Langeliers and Andy Thomas granted the Bears a 2-0 advantage.

Cal Poly’s next hit, a double down the right field line by junior catcher Myles Emmerson, was not until the eighth inning. The Bears scored their final run off a hit and a Cal Poly fielding error in the same inning, concluding the game at 3-0.

Baylor pitcher Paul Dickens (2-1) was awarded the win after striking out five batters and allowing only one hit. Luke Boyd and Kyle Hill were brought in as relievers and each pitched a scoreless frame with a combined five strikeouts. Cal Poly senior Jarred Zill (0-4) registered the loss after allowing the two-run fourth inning deficit. Zill allowed only two hits and struck out eight batters.

Saturday

Cal Poly evened the series with a 3-1 victory over Baylor on Saturday. The Bears were held to just six hits as junior right-hander Bobby Ay collected his first victory of the 2019 season.
Junior Bradlee Beesley initiated Cal Poly’s first scoring drive with a single through left field in the top of the first inning. After two walks, freshman Noah Taylor singled to right field to drive Beesley home for a 1-0 advantage. Baylor responded in the fifth inning when Cole Haring single handedly evened the score at 1-1. Haring registered a double to right field, stole third and scored on a throwing error by Cal Poly.

However, Cal Poly gained the final lead in the very next inning with a three-hit scoring drive. Sophomores Tate Samuelson, Cole Cabrera and Nick DiCarlo all registered a single to grant Cal Poly their second lead of 3-1. DiCarlo’s single was good enough for two RBI before the next three batters were retired to end the inning. The Bears totaled two hits in the eighth inning and another in the ninth but failed to score against senior pitcher Michael Clark, who was awarded with the save as a result.

Ay (1-0) was granted the win for Cal Poly after allowing only one run and totaling three strikeouts. Before Saturday’s performance, Ay’s ERA sat at 11.25 with only two starts on the road this year. Ay’s ERA was lowered to 3.68 in his win against the Bears. Jacob Ashkinos (0-1), the second of four Baylor pitchers, was given the loss after giving up two runs in the sixth inning.

Sunday

On Sunday, Cal Poly fell to Baylor 14-3 in the final game of the series. The Bears totaled 22 hits, including three home runs, after being held to only nine combined hits in the first two games.

Cal Poly jumped ahead and gained an early advantage in the second inning. After Samuelson’s single trough shortstop, Emmerson registered an RBI single for a 1-0 Cal Poly lead. However, the inning ended with a runner on base as Emmerson was thrown out at second.

The game erupted in the bottom of the third inning when Baylor took advantage of four hits, a walk and a balk for five runs. The frame saw two singles, a double and a two RBI home run from Haring to give Baylor a 5-1 lead. In the next inning, the Bears registered four hits again, this time for a total of three runs. With two runners on base, Baylor’s Davis Wendzel blasted a home run to left center field to extend the lead to 8-1.

The Mustangs’ chances at a comeback ended in the sixth inning when Baylor capitalized on seven hits for six runs. The first player at bat, Nick Loftin, homered to left field. Six different players followed with a hit, including a two RBI triple down right field line by Josh Bissonette. Cal Poly also committed their only error of the game during the inning. By the time it was over, Baylor had extended their lead over the Mustangs to 14-1.

Cal Poly showed some resilience by scoring two runs in the ninth inning, but the effort was too little too late. Mustang junior Jack Kuzma registered a single to get on base before John Mackay’s RBI double brought him in. Cabrera followed with a sac-fly RBI to drive in Mackay for Cal Poly’s final run of the game.

Baylor pitcher Blake Helton (1-0) was awarded the win after allowing only two hits and zero runs scored. Cal Poly sophomore Darren Nelson (1-3), one of six pitchers used by the Mustangs during the match, was straddled with the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits.

Cal Poly will return to Baggett Stadium on Friday, March 22, for the first of a four-game series against Saint Mary’s. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

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