Credit: Mia-Isobel Craig | Mustang News, 2023

Cal Poly Baseball handled business with a three-game series sweep against UC Riverside from Thursday, April 6 through Saturday, April 8 at Baggett Stadium.

The Mustang (10-18, 6-6 Big West) bats got hot this weekend while the Highlanders (6-21, 0-9 Big West) remained winless in conference play.


Cal Poly’s offense exploded in the opening game of the series on Thursday, as they scored early and often on their way to a 13-2 win.

Junior righthander Bryce Warrecker drew the start and was rather impressive, tossing six innings of two-run ball while striking out eight.

The first inning saw UC Riverside strike first on a wild pitch that scored a run to take an early 1-0 lead.

The Mustangs hit right back in the first as they loaded the bases and brought in two runs on an RBI single from senior left fielder Collin Villegas and an RBI walk by freshman outfielder Wyatt King to take a 2-1 lead after the first.

Cal Poly didn’t take the foot off the gas in the bottom of the second inning, taking a 5-1 lead on a two-RBI double from sophomore catcher Ryan Stafford and an RBI groundout from Villegas.

After a three-up, three-down inning from Warrecker, the Mustangs tacked on another run in the third inning on an RBI single from junior center fielder Jake Steels to extend the lead to 6-1.

The Green and Gold weren’t done, however, as the offense exploded for a seven-run fourth inning after an RBI walk from senior infielder Taison Corio, a two-RBI single from redshirt sophomore infielder Kemet Brown, an RBI walk from Stafford and a bases-clearing double from junior first baseman Joe Yorke to take a commanding 13-1 lead after just four innings.

The Highlanders scored in the fifth inning to bring the score to 13-2, but they couldn’t bring any more runs across as Cal Poly cruised the rest of the way to a dominant 13-2 win.


The second game of the series saw sophomore starter Steven Brooks have his longest outing since March 12 and the Mustangs come out on top 9-8.

At first, it seemed as though the series’ second chapter would play out much like the first, as it was all Mustangs from the evening’s first pitch. 

Stafford gave the Mustangs their first hit of the ballgame and was promptly brought home for the game’s first run thanks to a first-pitch double by Yorke.

Two batters later, Yorke scored on an RBI single by junior shortstop Aaron Casillas — extending his hitting streak to eight games — giving the Green and Gold the 2-0 lead after one inning of play. 

Though the Highlanders tacked on two runs of their own over the next three innings, the Mustangs continued to pile it on. Two runs in the second inning, followed by one more each in the third and fourth, helped extend the Mustang lead to 6-2 after four innings.

The Highlanders then scored two more runs in their frame of the fifth to make it 6-4 before Corio turned on a pitch and deposited it over the right-field fence for a 397-foot home run, giving the Mustangs a three-run lead once again at 7-4.

However, it was at this point that the game began to shift. After neither team scored in the sixth, the Mustangs managed one run in the seventh after the Highlanders tacked on two more, making it an 8-6 contest. 

Cal Poly’s final run of the evening came in its frame of the next inning thanks to a safety squeeze bunt by Casillas that brought home Stafford with one out. That run, which gave the Mustangs a 9-6 lead, would turn out to be very valuable insurance.

The Highlanders opened their final set of at-bats with three straight men reaching base, including a first-pitch double, which put two men in scoring position with one out. 

An RBI single made it 9-7 and also chased junior reliever Derek True from the game. From there, head coach Larry Lee turned to junior reliever Kyle Scott to close the game out.

Riverside promptly greeted Scott with an RBI single to right to cut the deficit to 9-8, and a wild pitch put Highlander runners at second and third with one out. 

With the Mustang infield in, a Highlander grounded to shortstop, and Casillas’ throw to the plate resulted in a rundown and the runner being tagged out. 

From there, it was smooth sailing, as Scott definitively struck out the Highlander clean-up hitter on three pitches to end the game, securing both the 9-8 victory and his third save of the season.


Cal Poly closed out the series sweep with a 3-1 win in a game that only lasted two hours and 16 minutes and was led by impressive pitching performances from the staff.

Redshirt freshman lefty Jakob Wright started the game for the Mustangs but was merely used as an opener for junior right-handed pitcher Kaden Sheedy, who pitched five innings of one-run ball with three strikeouts.

Cal Poly got the scoring going in the first after an RBI single from Yorke and a sacrifice fly from Villegas grabbed an early 2-0 lead.

The next few innings remained scoreless until the Mustangs tacked on another run in the fifth inning after a sac-fly from Yorke made the score 3-0.

UC Riverside responded in the sixth inning after loading the bases and scoring on an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 3-1.

That run would be all the Highlanders would get as redshirt junior righty Ryan Baum relieved Sheedy and pitched the final three innings without allowing a hit for his first career save and helped the Mustangs complete the 3-1 win and series sweep.

Cal Poly will now look toward a non-conference mid-week game against the University of Santa Clara on Tuesday, April 11 at 4 p.m. at Baggett Stadium.