Cal Poly baseball completed a three-game sweep of CSU Bakersfield in a series from Friday, May 6 through Sunday, May 8 at Baggett Stadium.
The Mustangs (27-20, 14-7 Big West) took care of business against the Roadrunners (16-27, 9-12 Big West) to remain in second place in the conference.
In the series opener, the Mustangs took down Bakersfield by a score of 14-1 in a 21-hit onslaught.
After a scoreless top half, sophomore shortstop Brooks Lee led off with a double, which was followed by a walk from sophomore second baseman Nick Marinconz. Sophomore first baseman Joe Yorke then smacked an RBI double that scored Lee, but Marinconz was thrown out at the plate.
Junior left fielder Collin Villegas then smacked a two-run home run that put the Mustangs up 3-0. Cal Poly scored another later in the inning for a four-run first frame.
Sophomore ace Drew Thorpe followed with a one-two-three inning, recording three strikeouts in the top of the second.
In the third, the Roadrunners scored one but Thorpe recorded two more strikeouts to end the inning.
The Mustangs tallied a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to extend their lead to 6-1 going into the sixth.
After another scoreless frame from Thorpe, the Mustangs loaded the bases with no outs for Stafford. The freshman hit a line-drive single into center to score a pair. Senior Matt Lopez followed with an RBI single and senior third baseman Tate Samuelson tallied a sacrifice fly to bring the lead to 10-1.
Thorpe’s night came to an end in the seventh, after he struck out nine batters and allowed just one run on four hits through his six innings of work.
The Mustangs continued their scoring in the bottom of the seventh when three runs came across thanks to two doubles and two singles from the heart of the order.
In the bottom of the eighth, Cal Poly capped off their scoring with an RBI groundout. In the inning, Yorke also tallied his fifth hit of the night, as the first baseman showed off his agility, baserunning prowess and brute strength at the plate, going 5-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored.
“I was obviously seeing the ball pretty well tonight,” Yorke said. “I was feeling good at the plate – even with this fog rolling in. I had two doubles at UNLV earlier this year, but I am pretty sure this is only the second time I’ve ever done that, so that’s pretty cool.”
The Mustangs closed out the 14-1 win with their sixth straight scoreless defensive frame in the top of the ninth.
“We are at the point of the year where now we are going to try to play with our hair on fire and see how many wins we can rattle off,” Yorke said.
Cal Poly carried the momentum over to game two, where they took down the Roadrunners 6-2 to secure the series victory.
After a scoreless first, Bakersfield got on the board in the second after a solo home run and an RBI single put them up 2-0, their first lead of the series.
Both offenses came up empty in the third, and Cal Poly began to build momentum on the defensive side in the top of the fourth.
Yorke made a backhand sliding catch at first base to get the first out of the inning. After a double, the Mustangs closed out the inning with a pop-up fly and a strikeout from redshirt junior Travis Weston.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Mustang offense exploded for five of their six runs on the night. After getting the bases loaded with two outs, sophomore Reagan Doss walked to bring in freshman Ryan Stafford for the first Cal Poly run of the game.
Then, a wild pitch from Bakersfield allowed senior Matt Lopez to cross home and tie the game. Following an intentional walk to Lee, Marinconz came up clutch with a two-RBI single to give the Mustangs their first lead of the night.
Marinconz, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the win, said he came into the game with a “simple mindset.”
“I was just trying to hit the ball hard and get my pitch,” Marinconz said.
To close out the scoring in the inning, Yorke drove in Lee to extend the Cal Poly lead to 5-2.
After the fifth, sixth and seventh innings went scoreless, the Mustangs tacked on one more run after a Marinconz sacrifice fly put them up 6-2.
Weston turned in a great outing on the mound for Cal Poly, tossing seven innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out six to earn his fourth win of the year.
In game three of the weekend series, the Mustangs completed the sweep with a 4-2 victory over the Roadrunners.
After scoreless first innings from both squads, Cal Poly opened the scoring in the second. A leadoff single from Villegas allowed Stafford to crush his third home run of the season over the center-field wall, giving the Mustangs a 2-0 lead.
Shutdown third, fourth and fifth innings from both sides turned the game to the sixth. In the top half, Bakersfield tied the game at 2-2 following a two-run home run of their own.
In the bottom of the seventh, Doss reached on an error and Lee singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Yorke then delivered his eighth hit of the weekend to bring home Doss. Stafford singled two batters later to score Lee, giving Cal Poly a 4-2 advantage.
The two sides stalemated for the rest of the game and the Mustangs secured the sweep of the Roadrunners.
With the three wins and UC Santa Barbara taking two in their three-game set with UC Irvine, the Mustangs now trail the Gauchos by five games in the Big West standings.
Cal Poly returns to action for a mid-week matchup with Pepperdine on Tuesday, May 10 inside Baggett Stadium.