Brooks Lee (22) tips his helmet to the Cal Poly bench after hitting his first home run at Baggett as Cal Poly Baseball takes on Utah Valley at Baggett Stadium on Friday, March 5, 2021. (MANDATORY CREDIT: Kyle Calzia / Mustang News)

Cal Poly Baseball secured a three-game weekend series sweep against the Utah Valley Wolverines on March 5-7 inside Baggett Stadium. 

The Mustangs (6-4) earned their first series sweep since the 2019 season when they swept Long Beach State in a three-game series. Cal Poly outscored the Wolverines (2-5) 28-4 over the three games, as the pitching staff combined for 36 strikeouts.

Friday

Cal Poly’s offense exploded in the series opener, totaling 16 hits to take down Utah Valley by a score of 17-3, including a 13-run fifth inning.

Redshirt freshman Drew Thorpe (2-0) was on the mound for the Mustangs while the Wolverines started Jesse Schmidt.

After Thorpe got out of a jam in the first, redshirt freshman shortstop Brooks Lee got the scoring started with his second home run of the season, giving Cal Poly the early 1-0 lead.

Another scoreless inning from Thorpe led to a three-run second inning for the Mustang offense to take a 4-0 lead. Redshirt freshman infielder Joe Yorke, redshirt sophomore outfielder Collin Villegas and redshirt junior outfielder Cole Cabrera each recorded a RBI in the inning.

Thorpe continued to cruise in the third and fourth innings and Cal Poly carried their 4-0 lead into the fifth. However, Thorpe allowed a bases-clearing double that brought home three runs, cutting the Mustang lead to 4-3.

In the bottom of the inning Cal Poly responded in a major way, bringing home 13 runs and sending 18 batters to the plate. In the monster inning, redshirt junior Matt Lopez recorded three RBIs on two hits while redshirt sophomore Taison Corio and Lee had two RBIs apiece. Redshirt junior infielder Tate Samuelson, redshirt junior outfielder Nick DiCarlo, redshirt senior catcher Myles Emmerson, Cabrera, Yorke and Villegas all drove in a run as well.

The 13 runs scored by the Mustangs in the fifth were two short of the school’s Division I record of 15 runs scored in an inning. It was the second time this season that the Cal Poly offense totaled 16 hits.

After the game was broken open in the fifth, Thorpe was relieved and ended the night with five innings pitched, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out six. He would earn his second win of the season, making his record on the year 2-0.

Four pitchers from the Mustang bullpen each threw a scoreless inning to keep the score at 17-3 when the Mustangs recorded the final out.

Emmerson and Lee led the Mustangs with three hits each, while Cabrera, Lopez, and Corio had multi-hit games as well.

Saturday

Cal Poly carried the momentum from the Friday night routing into Saturday with a 5-1 victory over the Wolverines. While it wasn’t a 14-run win, it was almost as dominant, thanks in large part to sophomore pitcher Travis Weston who pitched the first complete game of the season for the Mustangs. 

The win put the Mustangs’ record at 5-4, over .500 for the first time this season. Utah Valley, who started pitcher Nick Sims, moved to 2-4 with the loss.

Weston struck out 11 batters while only giving up two hits all game, suffocating the Utah Valley bats. The southpaw was around the strike zone all night, allowing zero walks on 102 pitches.

Sims faced only six batters on the day, unable to record an out. With the bases loaded in the first inning, Corio contributed two runs off of a single up the middle, putting the Mustangs up 4-0 with zero outs. Corio was the last batter that Sims faced, as Utah Valley brought in pitcher Bobby Voortmeyer in relief.

The game remained scoreless until the sixth, where Weston gave up the aforementioned two hits and Utah Valley pushed a run across to make the score 4-1. Cal Poly responded in the seventh inning as Lee hit an infield single to bring Cabrera home, putting the Mustangs up 5-1.

Weston closed out the Wolverines in the eighth and ninth innings to pick up his first win of the year.

While the Mustang bats were unable to put up 17 runs like the previous night, the five runs were more than enough with the performance from Weston. The offense had a balanced attack with four players contributing RBIs,, and Weston’s dominant start carried the Mustangs from their four-run first inning.

Sunday

Cal Poly secured the sweep over Utah Valley with a dominating 6-0 shutout victory on Sunday inside Baggett Stadium.

Junior pitcher Andrew Alvarez started on the mound for the Mustangs and earned his second victory of the season after pitching six shutout innings with eight strikeouts. Alvarez reached his season highs in both innings pitched and strikeouts during Sunday’s game. 

After Sunday’s win with a total of 14 strikeouts, Cal Poly pitchers have now combined for double-digit strikeouts in six of their first 10 games of the season thus far. 

The Mustangs jumped to an early 2-0 lead after Lee drove a two-run home run over the right field wall for his third of the season in the bottom of the first. Lee now leads the team in home runs and all three have come in the last four games. Emmerson also scored off Lee’s home run after hitting a single to center field earlier in the inning. 

Cal Poly extended their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning. DiCarlo earned a sacrifice RBI after his line drive was caught in right field, allowing Samuelson to score from third base. 

After the Mustangs walked for three consecutive at bats, Dicarlo was hit by a pitch which brought Samuelson home again to give the Mustangs a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth.  

Lee earned his third RBI of the game in the sixth inning after flying out to deep center field which allowed Villegas to score from third base while Cabrera advanced to third base. Then, Lopez drove a single down the right field line to bring Cabrera home and gave the Mustangs a 6-0 lead at the end of the sixth. 

Freshman pitcher Kyle Scott entered the game for Alvarez in the seventh inning and turned in two shutout innings of his own in his fourth appearance of the season. 

Cal Poly closed out the Wolverines by striking out the side in the top of the ninth. Junior pitcher Dylan Villalobos recorded two strikeouts, followed by freshman righthander Derek True who ended the game with a swinging strikeout.

The Mustangs will look to continue their winning streak next week in a three-game home weekend series against the UCLA Bruins from March 12-14 inside Baggett Stadium.

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