Cal Poly followed up on its historic away sweep over UC Davis last weekend by sweeping Long Beach State at Blair Field for the first time since 1997. The 3-0 series win took place Thursday, April 18 through Saturday, April 20 and moved the Mustangs record to 19-17 for the season. With the victory, Cal Poly has won six straight games and holds sole possession of first place in the Big West Conference.

Thursday

Long Beach State jumped to an early lead against Cal Poly in game one, but a seventh inning scoring drive resulted in a 4-2 victory for the Mustangs. Cal Poly committed zero defensive errors for the third time in the previous four matches.

The Dirtbags took advantage of two hits in the first inning for an early 2-0 lead. After Long Beach State’s Brooks Stotler was hit by a pitch to reach first base, Jacob Hughey registered a double down the right field line. Laine Huffman followed up with an RBI single for the first run of the game. A sacrifice fly RBI by Victor Carlino drove Hughey in to extend the Dirtbags’ lead to 2-0.

Cal Poly’s response did not come until the top of the seventh inning as the Mustangs struggled against Long Beach State starter Adam Seminaris (2-6). Freshman designated hitter Conagher Sands, sophomore outfielder Cole Cabrera and junior catcher Myles Emmerson each registered an RBI double to rally the Mustangs past Long Beach State for a 4-2 lead. The inning also saw an RBI single by junior third baseman Jack Kuzma.

Senior right-hander Michael Clark (3-1) continued to be Cal Poly’s go-to reliever by securing the win for Cal Poly after pitching four scoreless frames as a reliever. Clark allowed zero hits and zero walks with two strikeouts. Starting pitcher Chase Watkins allowed seven hits over five innings with three strikeouts.

The victory evened Cal Poly’s record for the first time this season at 17-17. The victory was also the second game in a row in which the Mustangs won despite being down after six innings.

Friday

Cal Poly defeated Long Beach State 7-1 to clinch the series on Friday, April 19. The Dirtbags were held to just four hits by junior right-hander Bobby Ay, who earned his fifth win of the season.

This time it was Cal Poly who took advantage of the early lead. In the top of the first inning, junior center fielder Bradley Beesley homered to left field for a 1-0 lead. However, a walk and a hit at the bottom of the inning allowed Long Beach State’s Chase Luttrell to even the score with an RBI single. Ay retired nine batters in a row following the Dirtbags’ lone run of the match.

Cal Poly captured the lead in the fourth inning with RBIs from Sands and sophomore first baseman Tate Samuelson.

That lead was almost doubled in the sixth inning with three hits and an error. After singles from Beesley and sophomore right fielder Elijah Greene, Samuelson reached first base on a fielding error. Sands followed up with an RBI single to right center field before Samuelson scored on a wild pitch for the 6-1 lead. Samuelson capped off the scoring with an RBI single in the seventh inning to conclude the game at 7-1.

Sands, Beesley and Greene led Cal Poly’s offense with two hits each. Ay (5-0) was awarded the victory after allowing just one run and totaling ten strikeouts. Dirtbags pitcher Nick Avila (0-2) was given the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits.

With the victory, the Mustangs clinched a Big West Conference series at Blair Field for the first time in ten years. Cal Poly also reached a season high in successive wins with five straight following Friday’s victory.

Saturday

Cal Poly completed its away sweep over Long Beach State with a 5-4 victory on Saturday, April 20.

The Mustangs took no time to gain the lead on Saturday and totaled four runs in the top of the first inning with a pair of walks and five hits. Greene, Cabrera and sophomore third baseman Nick DiCarlo all tallied singles while Sands and Beesley both contributed a double.

However, Long Beach State evened the score in the very next inning with four hits. Following a walk to position Jake Vander Wal on first base, Kaden Hogan homered to cut Cal Poly’s lead in half. Hughey, Huffman and Chris Jimenez all tallied a single for the Dirtbags’ final two runs of the inning.

Emmerson kicked off the fourth inning with a double down the right field line before advancing to third on a Kuzma single. Greene followed up with an RBI single through the right side for Cal Poly’s final run of the game.

Neither team could score in the remainder of the game as Long Beach State stranded 11 runners on base in total. The Dirtbags loaded the bases in the ninth inning with zero outs before sophomores Andrew Alvarez and Taylor Dollard retired the final batters of the match.

Clark earned the win on the mound for Cal Poly after allowing five hits and zero runs with six strikeouts. Dollard was awarded the save for his vital ninth inning strikeout. Long Beach State pitcher Zak Baayoun was straddled with the loss after allowing eight hits and five runs with four strikeouts.

Cal Poly will host USC next weekend in a non-conference series Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28 inside Baggett Stadium. Friday’s first pitch is set for 6 p.m.

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