The Cal Poly baseball team took a break from its conference schedule to play a non-conference game against Cal State Bakersfield and won the road matchup 6-4.
Following their 17-run onslaught against UC Irvine at home, the Mustangs (29-22, 9-9 Big West) were looking to carry that momentum into a late-season push into the playoffs.
Cal Poly started the scoring in the top of the third inning with a pair of runs when junior first baseman Brett Barbier singled home freshman center fielder Alex McKenna and junior shortstop Brett Binning. The Mustangs added to their lead in the fourth inning when junior left fielder Kevin Morgan hit a home run to right field and gave the Cal Poly a three-run advantage.
The Roadrunners (15-35) battled back in the next two innings, scoring a combined four runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take the 4-3 lead. But Cal Poly answered right away, notching another pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning when freshman catcher Nick Meyer singled to score senior right fielder John Schuknecht and junior third baseman Michael Sanderson singled to plate Meyer.
The Mustangs later added their final run in the top of the ninth when Morgan tripled in sophomore designated hitter Josh George. Morgan finished the game with three of Cal Poly’s 15 hits.
Sophomore starting pitcher Jarred Zill allowed just one hit, which was erased by a double play, over four scoreless innings. Another sophomore, Erich Uelman, closed out the game with 2.1 perfect innings to earn his first save of the season.
This win is the third in the past four games for Cal Poly going into their final two series against UC Riverside (22-27, 9-9) and UC Davis (16-29, 4-14), two of the lower ranked teams in the Big West.
Four or five wins in the next two series isn’t out of the question for the Mustangs. And, with a little help from some other conference teams, Cal Poly could finish near the top of the Big West Conference for the 2016 season with an outside shot at a regional playoff berth.