Cal Poly Baseball snagged one win in the last three-game series of the year against CSU Fullerton from Thursday, May 25 through Saturday, May 27 at Baggett Stadium.
The first two games didn’t go the Mustangs’ (21-35, 11-19 Big West) way as the Titans (31-22, 20-10) secured their spot in the NCAA Baseball Regionals.
Cal Poly opened the series on Thursday with a 9-4 loss.
Fullerton starter Tyler Stultz threw 141 pitches en route to a victory desperately needed if the Titans wanted to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Titans broke out in the first inning, starting with a leadoff home run into left-center that was the first of five runs in the frame.
The Mustangs did not back down, however, as they pushed a run across on a single by junior first baseman Joe Yorke in the bottom half.
Junior starting pitcher Bryce Warrecker worked around the rough first inning and only allowed three more baserunners in his five total innings of work.
Fullerton advanced their lead against the Mustangs in the top of the seventh with back-to-back RBI singles to make it 7-1.
The Mustangs finally got to Stultz in the bottom of the eighth when runners reaching first and second chased him from the game.
Freshman designated hitter Evan Cloyd took the third pitch from the new reliever into dead center for a three-run blast that made the game 7-4.
“I was looking to do some damage,” Cloyd said. “Hit the ball in the gap, so I was just trying to be patient with my pitch.”
The Titans earned some runs back in the top of the ninth, as a slap single that beat the shifted infield and a bases-loaded walk made the game 9-4.
The Mustangs went down in order to the Titan closer to make the score final.
Cal Poly dropped game two of the series by a score of 7-4 on Friday night.
Graduate southpaw Travis Weston drew the start but was limited to three innings as he has been working his way back from injury, while redshirt junior righty Ryan Baum relieved Weston and pitched four innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while tacking on four strikeouts.
The Mustangs got on the scoreboard first in the opening frame after an RBI double from senior left fielder Collin Villegas and an RBI single from Yorke.
After a scoreless second, CSU Fullerton brought its first runs across after a two-RBI double to tie the game at two apiece.
The Titans took the lead in their half of the fourth inning after another RBI double to bring the score to 3-2.
CSU Fullerton wasn’t done, however, as they added on two more runs courtesy of yet another RBI double and a wild pitch that brought in a run to further extend the lead to 5-2.
The Green and Gold quickly responded in the bottom half of the fifth after Villegas unloaded a two-run home run over the left field wall to cut the lead down to 5-4.
CSU Fullerton added on another run in the sixth to bring the score to 6-4 after an RBI groundout scored the runner from third.
Following a scoreless seventh, the Titans tacked on a run on an RBI single with the bases loaded to extend the lead to 7-4, but that’s all they would get after junior righty Kyle Scott came in and limited the damage.
Cal Poly had a couple more chances to take the lead but they couldn’t do enough as the 7-4 loss meant CSU Fullerton would be going back to the playoffs.
Cal Poly ended the season on a high note after salvaging the last game of the series and the season by a score of 5-4.
Sophomore right-hander Steven Brooks was on the bump for the Mustangs and was excellent, tossing 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball while tacking on three strikeouts.
After the first few innings remained scoreless, the Mustangs scored first in the third inning on a sacrifice fly from junior shortstop Aaron Casillas to take an early 1-0 lead.
CSU Fullerton responded with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth to take a 2-1 lead.
Cal Poly immediately punched back with a run of its own in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of another sacrifice fly from sophomore catcher Ryan Stafford to retake the lead at 3-2.
The Mustangs added another run in the sixth inning to take a 4-2 lead off of a wild pitch that brought in a run.
The eighth inning saw the Titans tie the game late on a two-RBI double to bring the score to four apiece.
Cal Poly wouldn’t go quietly, however, as freshman infielder Tate Shimao smacked an RBI single into left to bring in the go-ahead run and take a late 5-4 lead.
Redshirt freshman southpaw Jakob Wright stayed in the game for the ninth inning after relieving Brooks in the seventh, and struck out the final two batters en route to the 5-4 win.
With this disappointing season in the rearview mirror, Cal Poly Baseball will look to improve this young roster throughout the offseason.