The Cal Poly Baseball team swept Columbia 4-0 in a series that stretched from March 8–10 inside Baggett Stadium. The wins over the Lions (0-8) helped the Mustangs (6-9) snap a three-game losing streak.
On Friday night, the Mustangs secured their third win of the season in the weekend series opener off of sophomore Blake Wagenseller’s triple to left center and sophomore Cole Cabrera’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Cal Poly came out with a 3-2 victory over the Lions.
No runs were scored for either team until the top of the fourth when the Lions’ Liam McGill doubled down the right field line and Joe Engel RBI singled to right center to open the scoring. The Mustangs responded in the bottom of the fourth with junior Bradlee Beesley’s triple to right center followed by sophomore Tate Samuelson bringing him home with a sacrifice fly to even the score at 1-1.
Redshirt freshmen Connor Gurnick singled to left center in the bottom of the sixth. Beesley smashed an RBI single, grabbing the Mustang’s first lead of the game of 2-1 over the Lions.
The top of the seventh inning saw strong hitting from the Lions’ Josh Nicoloff and Austin Mowrey. Nicoloff singled to right field then stole second. Mowrey continued this momentum with his first hit of the season, an RBI singled down the right field line, tying the game back up at 2-2.
In the top of the ninth the Lions were eager to grab hold of the game with two runners left on base. In the bottom of the ninth, the Mustangs had two outs; two heroes then stepped up to the plate. Wagenseller and Cabrera’s hits brought home the final run of the game and the final score to 3-2 over the Lions. This was the Mustangs’ first win in a weekend series this season.
Saturday – Game 1
The first game of the doubleheader on Saturday ended in a walk-off win for the Mustangs for the second time in the weekend. Samuelson scored off of sophomore Nick Dicarlo’s hit in the bottom of the twelfth inning for a 2-1 win over the Lions.
Both teams came out with one hit each in the third and fourth innings. Neither team scored any runs until the top of fifth when the Lions’ Nicoloff singled up the middle and AJ DiFillipo hit an RBI double.
With the bases loaded for the Mustangs in the bottom of the sixth, junior Myles Emmerson was walked, allowing Cabrera to score for a 1-1 tie. Doherty struckout and Gurnick flied out to center field, leaving three runners left on base for the Mustangs.
Junior pitcher Bobby Ay did not allow any hits or walks in the top of the seventh inning for the Mustangs.
Neither team had any hits until the bottom of the ninth, when freshmen Noah Taylor doubled to left field for the Mustangs. Beesley was intentionally walked. Samuelson grounded out to third base for the third out, leaving two runners left on base at the end of the ninth inning.
The game remained tied at 1-1 for the next two innings. Samuelson’s single was all it took to spark the momentum in the Mustangs. DiCarlo’s hit allowed Samuelson to beat the throw home for the 2-1 win for the Mustangs.
Saturday – Game 2
While the sun went down, the bats heated up as the second game got underway beneath the lights of Baggett Stadium.
Cabrera and Beesley both had RBI singles in the first inning. Columbia quickly responded with two runs of their own in the second. Then Cal Poly erupted in the third inning, putting up four runs highlighted by a two-run double down the left field line by sophomore Elijah Greene for a 6-2 lead.
Once again, Columbia responded with an RBI double that split the left-center gap to close the Cal Poly lead to 6-3. But once again, Cal Poly responded with a four-run inning. Taylor started off the scoring spree with a double to left-center that drove in Samuelson. A single fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly led to the other three runs coming across to put the Mustangs up 9-3.
But Cal Poly was not done yet, following up with three more runs in the fifth inning. This time around, the team’s efforts were led by two big hits — a double by DiCarlo and a triple by freshman Willie Cano to give the team a 12-3 lead.
Despite some issues early, freshman starting right hander Bryan Woo locked down, allowing only three runs and striking out three batters. Junior pitcher Thomas Triantos threw four innings of relief, striking out five Lion batters.
Columbia scored a pair of unearned runs off of a dropped fly ball, but it was not enough, as Cal Poly took the 12-6.
Woo picked up the first win of his collegiate career and Triantos earned his first save of the season.
The Mustangs came into the game Sunday afternoon eager to earn another win and secure a four game sweep, but the Columbia team appeared to do everything in their power to avoid that. Cal Poly had starting pitcher Darren Nelson on the mound, who has been red hot. Despite being winless this season, Nelson has recorded a sub-one ERA (0.82).
Columbia’s offense snuck up on Cal Poly early with a two-run home run in the first inning. Nelson quickly tightened up after that, not allowing a run for the next six innings.
The Cal Poly offense responded in the fourth inning when Samuelson flicked a two-run home run of his own over the left field wall, to make the score 2-2. After a dominant six innings from Nelson, the team gave the ball to sophomore pitcher Matt Arens, who tossed two shutout innings across the seventh and eighth innings.
During that time the Mustangs snuck three runs across to go up 5-2 going into the top of the ninth.
Senior pitcher Michael Clark came in to finish out the game. However, an error — followed by a walk, another walk and another error — led to Columbia closing Cal Poly’s lead to 5-4. With the bases loaded, Clark forced a weak fly ball to Greene to end the game at 5-4 for Cal Poly.
Nelson earned his first win of the season as Cal Pol completed the four-game sweep of Columbia.