Cal Poly Baseball fell victim to a sweep in a three-game conference series against Long Beach State from Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 2 at Blair Field.
The Mustang (7-17, 3-6 Big West) pitching staff couldn’t get outs when it mattered while the Dirtbags (18-8, 6-3 Big West) scored early and often.
Off a monstrous 5-for-5, six RBI game from Jack Hammond, Long Beach State beat Cal Poly 10-2 in the opener on Friday.
A six-run third inning for the Dirtbags, emphasized by a three-run home run off the bat of Hammond, opened the game up early.
Held scoreless until the seventh, the Mustangs had runners in scoring position in three of the six innings before breaking through.
In the eighth, Cal Poly finally broke through, scoring two runs. It started with base hits from sophomore catcher Ryan Stafford and junior first baseman Joe Yorke, followed by senior left fielder Collin Villegas’s double to right-center field to score Stafford.
Junior shortstop Aaron Casillas then followed with an RBI groundout to score Yorke.
However, that was all the Mustang offense managed as they were stifled to the tune of a 10-2 loss.
Junior righthander Bryce Warrecker (1-2) gave up seven runs and 12 hits over 2 2/3 innings, bearing the loss.
For the Dirtbags, starting pitcher Graham Osman (4-0) tossed six scoreless innings while striking out nine, seven of which came looking.
Stafford led the way with a 3-for-5 day at the plate while Yorke tallied two hits of his own.
As a team, Cal Poly ended with nine hits compared to the Dirtbags, who put up 18 hits.
Cal Poly followed up the Friday blowout loss with a 5-4 loss at the hands of a walkoff homerun.
Graduate lefty Travis Weston was slated to start game two of the series but was a late scratch due to injury, so sophomore righty Steven Brooks got the start instead.
Brooks cruised through the first four innings as neither offense could score until the top of the fifth when the Mustangs took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double from redshirt sophomore infielder Ryan Fenn.
Long Beach State quickly responded in their half of the fifth with an RBI double and an RBI single to take a 2-1 lead after five.
After a scoreless sixth, the Dirtbags extended their lead after a solo home run was launched over the left field fence to make it 3-1.
The Green and Gold, however, wouldn’t go down without a fight in the eighth. With runners on second and third, junior center fielder Jake Steels slapped an RBI single into left field, which was followed up by a sacrifice fly from Yorke to tie the game at three apiece.
Long Beach State quickly took the lead back in the bottom half of the eighth on a solo shot to center to bring the score to 4-3.
The Mustangs managed to load the bases in the ninth and brought a run across to tie the game at 4-4 on a sacrifice fly from senior designated hitter Taison Corio.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, it looked as though extra innings were imminent but the Dirtbags had other plans, as a walk-off home run was cranked over the fence to give Long Beach State the 5-4 win.
Cal Poly suffered its second consecutive walk-off loss to Long Beach State on Sunday night by a score of 9-8 in 10 innings.
Junior righthander Kaden Sheedy drew the start and was roughed up early, while redshirt junior righty Ryan Baum took over and pitched 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball.
After a scoreless first, the Mustangs struck first in the second inning after an RBI double from freshman infielder Tate Shimao followed up by an RBI single by freshman designated hitter Evan Cloyd to bring the score to 2-0.
The Dirtbags responded in a big way in the third with a six-run inning that included four RBI singles and a two-run home run to put them up 6-2.
Cal Poly answered in the fourth with two runs of their own with another RBI single from Cloyd and an RBI single by Steels to bring the lead down to 6-4.
The top of the fifth saw the Mustangs load the bases and bring in another run on an RBI hit-by-pitch from freshman outfielder Wyatt King to further chip away and bring the score to 6-5.
The back-and-forth continued as the Dirtbags increased their lead to 7-5 in the bottom half of the fifth on an RBI single.
The Green and Gold tied the game up at seven apiece in the sixth as Yorke grounded out into an RBI and Villegas smacked an RBI double in the left-center gap.
Neither team scored for the next few innings and the game went into extras where the Mustangs took an 8-7 lead on an RBI single from Yorke in the 10th inning.
Long Beach State wouldn’t go quietly, however, as a solo home run was smashed past the left-center fence to tie the game at 8-8. The homer was then followed up with a walk-off RBI single to clinch the 9-8 win and seal the series sweep for the Dirtbags.
The Mustangs will now look ahead to a midweek non-conference matchup against Pepperdine on Tuesday, April 4 at 6 p.m. at Baggett Stadium.