A weekend away in Honolulu treated the Cal Poly baseball team well. The Mustangs clinched the final two games of the three game series against Hawaii and improved their Big West Conference record to 4-2.
The Mustangs’ (22-13, 4-2 Big West) winning momentum didn’t end once they returned home to host Fresno State (24-14) on Tuesday for a nonconference ballgame, where Cal Poly handled the Bulldogs in a 7-1 victory.
Freshman Cam Schneider started on the mound for the Mustangs, striking out two Bulldogs and not allowing a single hit in the first inning.
Cal Poly also started strong offensively, with two runs in the first inning. Sophomore left fielder Josh George first scored on an errant throw. Junior catcher Brett Barbier scored on the next play, a sacrifice fly by junior third baseman Michael Sanderson.
Both teams had quiet second innings, but the silence was disrupted in the third inning when the Bulldogs put up their first and only run of the game, cutting the lead to 2-1.
The Mustangs increased their lead in the fourth inning by putting three more runs on the board. Senior right fielder John Schuknecht doubled down the left field line and eventually scored off of an RBI bunt single by freshman catcher Nick Meyer. Meyer also scored on a triple by freshman first baseman Cooper Moore, then Moore came in on a single by junior designated hitter Kevin Morgan to stretch the Mustangs’ lead to 5-1.
George and Barbier both scored again in the fifth inning, increasing the Mustangs’ lead to 7-1, where it stayed until the end of the day.
Cal Poly seems to be improving on Tuesday nights, especially in their pitching. The Mustangs rotated only three pitchers on the mound and committed no errors after cycling between seven pitchers and committing one error in last Tuesday’s 7-1 loss to Cal.
Freshman Thomas Triantos was among the pitchers Tuesday night for the Mustangs. Triantos racked up four strikeouts in four shutout innings of work.
Though Sanderson had his 34-game on-base streak snapped, he also had a productive performance in Tuesday night’s game, contributing two RBIs from two sacrifice flies.
The Mustangs look to continue their success this weekend, as they host No. 14 UC Santa Barbara, who is currently leading Big West Conference standings. The three-game series will be a critical test in determining the outcome of Cal Poly’s season.