Cal Poly baseball saw a late lead slip away against Portland and lost by a score of 5-4 on Wednesday, Mar. 2 ay Baggett Stadium.
The Mustangs (4-4) had a four-run lead early on in the game, but the Pilots (7-1) scored five unanswered, including the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth.
After a scoreless top of the first from the Pilots, Cal Poly jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the inning. Freshman catcher Ryan Stafford led off with a walk and sophomore shortstop Brooks Lee drove him home with an RBI double to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
Freshman righthander Steven Brooks held Portland scoreless once again in the second, and it was Lee once again providing the offense for Cal Poly. In the bottom of the second, Lee drove a bases-clearing double down the left-field line with the bases loaded to extend the Mustang lead to 4-0.
Although it looked like Cal Poly was in control, Portland immediately answered with two runs in the top of the third and added another in the fourth to cut the lead to just 4-3.
After a hot start, both offenses went quiet for the next four innings, as not one run was scored in the fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth innings.
With a one-run lead going into the ninth, the Mustangs had a chance to close it out in the top of the inning with senior righthander Jason Franks on the mound.
However, Franks walked the first batter and was immediately replaced by senior righty Dylan Villalobos, who allowed a single to his first batter that set up runners at first and third with no outs for the Pilots.
After a lineout, the Portland baserunner stole second to put both runners in scoring position. Ty Saunders then singled to left to score one run and even the score at 4-4. With a runner at third, Villalobos then balked to bring in the go-ahead and eventually game-winning run.
Despite Lee being intentionally walked in the bottom half, Cal Poly couldn’t respond and left with a 5-4 loss.
Lee led the offense with three hits and four RBIs on the night while sophomore first baseman Joe Yorke was the only other Mustang with a multi-hit game, as he went 2-3 with one run scored.
The Mustangs will head back on the road when they take on UNLV for a series from Friday, Mar. 4 through Sunday, Mar. 6 at Earl E. Wilson Stadium.