Cal Poly Baseball won its first meeting of a three-game series against the Baylor Bears March 6-8 inside Baggett Stadium. After the 11-inning win on Friday, the Mustangs dropped their final two games against the Bears and fell to a record of 5-11 in non-conference play. Baylor’s offensive output played a significant role in the weekend series as the Bears produced 39 hits compared to the Mustangs’ 26.
Cal Poly won its opening game 2-1 against Baylor after 11 innings on Friday. The win was highlighted by a walk-off single by junior left fielder Cole Cabrera.
The game was the Mustangs’ third extra-inning win of the season, with the other two coming against No 2. Vanderbilt and No. 16 Michigan.
Despite winning the game, Cal Poly was held scoreless through the first eight innings. After trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth, a double by freshman shortstop Nick Marinconz brought in senior catcher Myles Emmerson from third base to tie the game. After two more scoreless innings, the game eventually gave way to Cabrera’s winning shot into left field.
“It was 2 outs, I was like ‘Lets go home’,” Cabrera said. “We’ve had so many late-inning games already… I got to 1-1 and tried to be aggressive, and luckily got it into left field.”
On the mound, junior pitcher Taylor Dollard turned in another dominant start for Cal Poly. Dollard held Baylor to six hits and a walk while striking out five hitters. Head coach Larry Lee gave the ball to sophomore pitcher Bryan Woo after six innings. Woo gave up just three hits and matched Dollard’s strikeout total of five through the final five innings.
“Getting ahead early is a big thing for me, attacking the strike zone, and being able to have those options later in the count,” Woo said. “And our defense worked, we had no errors tonight, it was a great team effort.”
Cal Poly dropped its second game of the series 8-6 after the Bears produced four runs in the sixth inning to pull away from the Mustangs. Junior left-hander Andrew Alvarez gave up nine hits for five earned runs through five innings. The Mustangs cycled through three additional pitchers to finish off the game.
After a tie score of 1-1, Cal Poly took a significant lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. A 3-RBI double from Beesley brought the score to 4-1 in favor of the Mustangs before the Bears brought in pitcher Jimmy Winston to minimize the damage. Winston escaped the inning with one hitter on base after Emmerson grounded out to second base.
The Bears responded in the sixth inning with five hits to take a one-run lead at 5-4. In the same inning, Cal Poly equalized the game at 5 apiece through a RBI from Wagenseller in the same inning.
Baylor closed out the game with eight hits through the final three innings while Cal Poly was held to just one hit. The Mustangs scored in the seventh inning through a sac fly from Cabrera, but the effort was not enough to overturn Baylor’s offensive output in the late stages of the game. After taking a 8-6 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, Baylor pitcher Logan Freeman secured the save by retired all three hitters in order.
Sophomore right-hander Ryan Jameson (0-2) was straddled with the loss after giving up three hits and one run.
Cal Poly lost 6-4 in its series finale to Baylor after being shut out until the seventh inning. Despite pinch hitters sparking a late-game rally for Cal Poly, the Mustangs were unable to overturn a six run deficit to beat the Bears.
Starting freshman pitcher Drew Thorpe pitched a total of 7 innings, giving up five runs and ten hits with four strikeouts. Freshman shortstop Brooks Lee had the biggest hit of the game for the Mustangs after coming in as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. Lee hit a two-run double in his second at bat since returning from injury.
In the series, junior designated hitter Blake Wagenseller went for 4-for-9 at the plate, including a hit and a run in the final game.
“I just made a couple of adjustments mechanically, got my mind right,” Wagenseller said. “It was only going to get better from where I was, so I was ready for that.”
Baylor got on the board in the first inning when Jared McKenzie scored on a fielder’s choice after Nick Loftin grounded out to second base. In the same inning, Chase Wehsener scored on another fielder’s choice. Baylor tacked on one more run in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead over the Mustangs.
In the seventh inning, Jared Mckenzie scored again through a wild pitch by Thorpe. The Bears increased their lead to six runs in the after a double and a single to right field.
The Mustangs responded in the bottom of the seventh after Lee doubled to right center to bring in two runners. Junior outfielder Scott Ogrin singled to right field to bring in sophomore infielder Connor Gurnik, who got on base with a single while pinch hitting. The Mustangs put a fourth run on the board when senior outfielder Bradlee Beesley hit a sacrifice fly to score Wagenseller.
However, neither team scored a run in the final two innings as Baylor held onto their two-run lead.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Thorpe said. “We’re moving in the right direction … we’re playing a really tough schedule, and I think that will get us ready for Big West play.”
Cal Poly travels to Malibu to play Pepperdine on Tuesday, March 10 at 2:30 p.m.